survival, come snow or ice
rejoice, pretty ones
survival by Angie Quantrell
I remember living in Cle Elum the same year I attended kindergarten, 1966-67.
Kindergarten. This monumental first year of school was so much different in the 60s than in the here and now. In fact, many students didn’t even attend kinder, but started school when they were old enough for first grade.
Kindergarten in Cle Elum? Mandatory dresses for girls, must be able to tie shoe laces, and had to be 5 before school started. I must have been fine for tying my laces, since I remember wearing saddle ox shoes. Which (I just googled) was the common name for saddle oxford shoes quite popular at the time. I always thought they were called saddle LOCKS. Haha. Celebrating my birthday in November placed me among the oldest in my class.
I loved kindergarten. We had art, easel painting, music, recess, lunch, NAP time, stories, play time, and so many other fun activities. I remember my mother telling me that my teacher put me at a table full of noisy boys, hoping that I would calm them down. What she probably meant was that I was bossy and would tell them to be quiet. I’m sure I did. Tell them to be quiet. My oldest kid personality came out shining.
If you are familiar with Cle Elum, you know that it is a small town near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state. We had winter. The type of winter where snow fell, temps were frigid, and everyone knew winter had arrived. We used to live in a two story home. I distinctly remember the year when so much snow fell, we had snow mountains piled high around our house. It became a game to jump out a second story window, land in the snow, follow the tunnel back to the door, run up the steps, and jump out again. Never fear, adults were involved in this seasonal sport. Honestly. I am not making this stuff up.
Also. The “girls must wear dresses” rule. My mom finally got so tired of me standing at the bus stop shivering and freezing that she sent me to school wearing, hold on tight now, pants! She was really stepping out and being rebellious. But she also wasn’t about to let her little girl get frostbite while wearing a cute dress with tights.
I’m pretty sure the above picture was taken in our backyard in Cle Elum. That is me on the left and my brother on the right. We loved playing on that swing set. Our family did so many fun activities when we lived in the mountains. We camped, explored, visited family and friends, climbed mountains, and spent time beside rivers. The northwest became our big backyard.
I remember another funny story about our time in Cle Elum. Mom could hear my brother and I giggling and the toilet flushing repeatedly. She quickly ran into the bathroom and we were entertaining a guest raccoon. Apparently we had let it in, or it had invited itself in. I have no idea how we discovered its love of running water, but the flushing toilet was a perfect play area. My poor mother!
Learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels also happened during my Cle Elum and kindergarten years. I was so proud! Good thing there wasn’t a car parked in front of me when my dad was taking this picture!
What do you remember about kindergarten? Were you a paste taster? I still remember the smell and the urge to sample, though I don’t remember eating any. Share a favorite kinder memory. Let’s compare notes.
winter’s still present-
won’t melt; snow castles are us!
white lemonade fun
go winter by Angie Quantrell
The winter snow melt in our area is unseasonably late. Parents, drivers, workers, gardeners, spring sports players-even school children-are hoping for blue skies and warm temps to thaw the concrete ice mountains and fields of white covering our valleys.
We LOVE snow. But it is time for green and insects and baby animals and flowers.
Snow lemons? Making white lemonade.
again, or still; nearly spring-
snow falls quietly
again by Angie Quantrell
Like Groundhog’s Day (the movie), this winter clutches our neck of the woods with the setting of repeat. Some movies have that choice, did you know? Especially for the younger crowd. I didn’t know winter had the same option.
But I LOVE snow! Even as green-starved as I am, gasping for fresh air and spring flowers, I feel giddy with joy when snowflakes dump steadily the whole day and into the night. Despite the need for shoveling, I gleefully glance out the window to make sure it’s still coming down in white blankets.
It is! Sheets, comforters, pillowcases, and blankets of the white stuff. Doomed I fear, according to weather reports.
But today. I shovel. Again.
The title MAY be a bit of an exaggeration. But welcome to the winter that keeps on giving.
Congratulations! You are enjoying the longest February on record. Technically February is the shortest month of the year, in days, but not in the long drawn-out days of snow-ice-locked cold.
It’s snowing as I type. Skies are heavy gray with a peep of pink along the eastern edge. The landscape is white with bits of black edging from homes, red from the stop sign, and gray-brown from fence posts. White is the dominant theme this winter. Our water resources are sure to be full and overflowing this summer. For that, I am thankful.
I love snow! Really, I do. But. As March edges closer, my thoughts turn to green and bits of yellow and floaty blossoms on trees. Where are you spri-ng? Why can’t I find you? (In my head that sounds like Cindy Lou Who singing “Where Are You Christmas?”)
But today. We have snow. How about one more snow day’s worth of pictures? Come July and the season of sweat, I will bemoan the lack of lacy white.
Celebrate the snow with children everywhere who pray for snow days, late starts, snow play, and hot cocoa.
drifting, snarled, stuck
captured, unprepared to stay-
winter lock in place
winter by Angie Quantrell
Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge! Join us. Write a Haiku about winter or being stuck. Post the link or your Haiku in the comments so we can all read it.
Lately we’ve been required to take the weather app predictions with an entire shaker full of salt (instead of a few grains).
But not today! The app said snow, and snow is the happening event. I think they are quite a bit off on the amount of snow they predicted, as I spent over an hour shoveling and my tracks, trails, and cleared areas disappeared beneath more inches of the pretty fluff before I finished.
What is .2 of an inch anyway? Not the mountains of snow piled around the RV and shop. Do they measure snow AFTER they melt it in a cup? I keep sweeping .2 off the deck. And the next time I look, I need to do it again. Percentage of error seems to be quite high.
Blowing wind, heavy snow, cold air. Winter is back. With near 50 degrees last week, I was thinking spring, bulbs popping up new flowers, pleasant walks, sunny skies. Wait. I thought the groundhog did not see his shadow and spring is coming early?
Winter or not, I love the white stuff. So beautiful. A bear to drive in (I watched a semi back down the hill near us when he couldn’t make it to the top). Slippery footing. Cold. So peaceful. Quiet.
No late start today. I think that is going to change tomorrow. Get out those snow clothes back out. It’s sledding time!
What’s the weather in your neck of the woods?
In our area of the northwest, we often have winter snow days or late start days when the roads are slick early in the morning. Just recently, an overnight heavy wet cold snow fell, causing slippery roads and perfect conditions for a late start (for school to start). It’s only 2 hours late, but one can have plenty of fun in those 120 minutes.
First up was sledding down the pasture hill. The 5 grands did a wonderful job sharing one sled, pairing up with each other and racing to see who could travel the longest distance down the slope.
Once the proper bright red noses and cheeks were acquired, we trooped inside for a snow day tea party, all ages included. This was not the traditional apres snow play hot cocoa and cookies, as both Nana and mommy (Auntie) were fresh out of hot chocolate mix. This was find what’s in the pantry and enjoy it to the fullest. So tea it was.
Tiny tea cups, spoons, saucers, and tea pots were filled with tepid herbal tea. Honey dripped stickily into cups and was stirred in. Spills were mopped up with place mats and towels, and peanuts stood in for tea cakes. For one young girl, those tea cake peanuts tasted marvelous when they were soaked in tea and scooped out with a spoon.
A fun time was had by all. Pinkies up for the next snow day late start!
Once the 3 older grands went to late school, the 2 younger ones had another type of snow day.