January Jottings

I am sincerely trying to find something good about the month of January .  If I were in good health, I would like to be cross country skiing..meaning just my big back yard. If I go into the woods, I am lost unless I leave a trail of bread crumbs behind. With the hoard of gray squirrels around here, they would be eating my life saving trail as soon as I tossed it behind me.

January days are for digging into old boxes, old trunks and ripped up the side paper bags to unearth some of the “treasures” I have carried along through the seven moves in my life. There are the “rank cards” as we called them…now who is going to want these things after I swoosh upward? ( I assume I am going to swoosh, but on January days, it is more like yanking on a cord to start a dead snow blower).  Anyway, back to the “rank card”. The pictured card was when I was in Grade 3 with Ruth Ring as my teacher. What patience she had! I figure I was about 7 years old at the time and my seat got very hard before day’s end and my mind wandered. Now these are the thoughts that crop up on a miserable January day.

I hated January back then. Christmas had gone and it was weeks before we would start making the crepe paper Valentine box. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, to look forward to, except cold and ice.

There was one holiday in January that I looked forward to each year and that was my Gram Martin’s birthday . Ma always selected something worthy, wrapped it and Dad delivered it over the field to Gram. It was usually a pretty apron, towels or some writing paper. There was no official birthday party, but  I was very excited watching Ma wrap and top it off with a pretty birthday card.

Of course, when one ages, things change. One tries to accept and adapt , I suspect, with a bit of muttered cursings. I would love to be ice skating somewhere because , in my mind, I am still Dorothy Hamill and spinning gloriously. I block out the memories of lopped , weak ankles and walking on the ice instead of gliding.

I do find things to help me tolerate the month. The tiny song birds coming to the feeder outside my window; the many kinds of woodpeckers vying for a spot on the suet cakes. When an evergreen is encased with ice glistening in the early sun, I feel there is hope for us all…just think, another two months and we will be watching for patches of green and maybe a tiny crocus hidden just below the surface.

Then there are mornings such as this.  Pea soup fog over us like a shroud after a night of rain leaving surfaces iced…no sun. This is when we have to fight to get through this seemingly endless month. It is like biting into a cement block with no headway at all.

For the outdoor enthusiasts, I am happy. There are the skiiers, skaters, ice fishermen, snowmobilers and all that. There was a day when I would join them and oh , how fast the winter seemed to speed by. I can’t do that now…so instead  I will find comfort in looking at memorabilia , thinking about the “old ” days, and thanking God that I have been given another day….albeit gnawing on cement.



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