lundi 1 février 2010

All in a day's weather


(it helps to have a clean screen)

The sun was out when Sam jumped out of the car near his school, grabbed his backpack and headed for the door before the clock struck 8:30 am, and switched from passenger to driver while the driver behind me suffered in silence. I made him drive since he takes his driver's license exam Wednesday. Tough for the nap in the car on the 25 minute ride to school.

"Mais il y a du verglas," my husband registered his own protest, arriving at my side as Sam was taking the keys. "Ca peut glisser." Thank you for the warning. I was perfectly aware of the fact that there were likely to be slippery conditions because I was, after all, taking them to school and the hospital in the car -- the only one of the four we own (sadly) that is in our possession and in running condition --, for that very reason. I was also perfectly decided not to have an argument or to back down.

"Il va passer son permis dans deux jours. Il devrait être préparé à conduire dans ces conditions de route." I tried not to cast a withering look in his direction; there's a vast plain between his own laisser faire upbringing and limiting our own kids' experience until they have none. He hadn't appreciated it one bit when I had Sam drive in the worst snow and ice conditions so far this year and suggested that he "test the brakes" on black ice along the Seine, but I think it is best for him to learn that at my side, too. After all, that's what parent accompanied driving for learners is all about; if Sam's going to get his license in two days, he'd best be prepared for whatever the road and the sky throw his way. He's also 18.

Back home, I passed the house, pulling up along the curb to park the car and made a mental note to take the picture I had missed yesterday of the ocher of the street wall against the blue of the sky with the bit of the stone wall across the street in the frame and hurried in to make my breakfast. I didn't want to lose a moment of the day (possibly) before I start priming the room I have been plastering for weeks if I could possibly be ready to paint as soon as tomorrow. The dogs were waiting for me to unlock the door and followed me to the kitchen, where I disappointed them by opening the shutters, closed against the night and the cold, and not feeding them again (one can always hope). I caught my breath.

The sky was low and heavy with the gigantic flakes that were falling thickly, blanketing the grass, beaten and worn thin by the workers' feet and wheelbarrow.

How, I wondered aloud to the group of animals still hoping for more food, did that happen?

I still got the picture of the house against the blue sky, once the snow squall was over and my first batch of plaster stuff of the day was troweled on. Listening to the snow on the roof just over my head from my perch on the ladder melt and run down the tarps to the ground, I thought about how much I don't like it when the sun comes out after the snowfall on a day that is just that much too warm to preserve the white and peaceful world, and I headed for my camera to get my picture, the day suddenly feeling like the promise of spring when heading into the house again later, I passed the split plastic flower pot on the steps and my eye spied those green shoots poking up through the dirt, which made me think of the crocuses. Sometimes they are out by now, but not this year.

Or, maybe the dogs have been snacking on them.

The gardening itch awakes.
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