Return of the Snowbirds

 

imagesMy Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven should return to Greenwood soon.  They are the family snowbirds. Just like our feathered friends, with the first signs of spring, they return.

“Snowbirds,” just like many actual birds, leave Indiana for the winter, but come back home in the spring.

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven have spent the winter in Lake Havasu, Arizona.  They have made friends in Arizona yet they always return to Indiana in the spring.

My husband never fails to mention them when he is out shoveling snow or scraping the ice on the car windows.  Uncle Steven also manages to call late night when it is bitter cold here – just to mention that he has his windows open and is enjoying the evening air.

Some people call them lucky.  These individuals who can migrate away from the cold.  They never have to put their summer clothes away, or purchase a new winter coat.  They never have to worry about which boots to wear just to go to the mailbox.  They spend the winter working on their tan.

By spending the winters in the warmer climate, snowbirds don’t have to deal with icy roads, shoveling their walks, falling on the ice and all of the other winter hazards.

They have a good reason for coming back – it’s home!  If they had to call any one place in the world home, Indiana would be it.  They have their home here and their family.

The neighbors and family watch the house for them.  Snowbirds aren’t just sunny day friends.  They do miss Indiana, but not quite enough to brave the cold and snow.

Basically,  they  escape from  the  hard cold  during the winter  and  it is beautiful  in Arizona.

Within a few weeks you can see the snowbirds flying (or driving) back to Indiana.  You can be sure winter is out of view.  Gone but not forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Misshapen Snowman

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-melting-snowman-image9815397

Ah . . the first snowfall of winter.  There was something magical about it, just as there was when you were a kid.  It was wonderful at first to see the snowfall but all right, we’ve had enough already!

This is the season of the misshapen snowman.  The fluctuating of temperatures provided both the perfect setting for snowman-building, and a factor of its inevitable thaw.  These snow sculptures stand tall for their public, hard packed and solid.  Then the heat of the sun – turns them bleak and frail. 

At first, my nephew’s snowman had that rundown look, a tad unrecognizable.  Looking in the yard now you would question: What could that clump of snow be?  Was it an occasional heap of winter rubble?  Now it is mixed with leaves, and dirt.  It takes a second glance to know this shapeless statue was once a snowman. 

Finally the snowman is a non descriptive icon of snow.  In fact, it look as if it was near a microwave  —  nuked.

There was a precious persona even in its disintegration.  In the snowman’s short life,  my nephew built a monument to  the winter blahs,  for however long or short it was.

 

 

 

Christmas Shopping !

 imadddges

Now the fun can begin. Less than twenty shopping days until Christmas.  Why is it that many of us wait until the very last minute to do our holiday shopping?

Only once could you find me shopping exactly three days before Christmas.  On that day I made a promise to myself, I would never let the shopping days slip away again!

You do not want to find yourself looking for that perfect gift for your loved one on the day before Christmas.  Why?  Because you might not find anything.  That’s why my brother-in-law always winds up with more than one sweatshirt.  When people wait, they can’t find him anything.

Other than the food court, I can’t picture why people enjoy shopping the week before Christmas.  The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally known for being the biggest shopping day in retail.  If we understand this, then why would someone want to fight the crowds two days before Christmas?

The last thing I want to do is spend four or five hours of my time meandering all over the mall, getting pushed and shoved around by a mob of shoppers.

No, I do not cop out of the experience by giving a gift certificate.  Although that idea, for some people is better appreciated.

I do the biggest majority of Christmas shopping in July.  It’s a trade-off, I shop with no hassles.  I leave the shopping on December 23rd to those who want to fight the crowd.

 

 

 

 

Winter in Indiana. Deal with it.

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Less than a month ago my neighbor fired up his backyard barbecue.                   My husband rode around town on his motorcycle.  Our jackets were hung in the closet and we never once thought of getting even a sweater. 

Yet it looks like cold weather and snow might stick around for a while.

It is winter time.  Yes, we have snow and ice.  After all, this is Indiana.  If you want warmer weather day after day visit Hawaii.

Weather is the topic at the shopping malls, restaurants, even grocery stores.  You can’t go anyplace that weather isn’t the center of conversation.  True, I am as guilty as anyone else.

Aren’t we Hoosiers?  We should expect it.  If you listen to some people, you’d believe it was something new.  If you have switched from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day and back again, you may live in Indiana. 

Perhaps a mild winter can spoil us.   My mother recalls “old-fashioned” winters, when  the days  and  nights  were  cold, with  ferocious  winds day  after  day  for weeks.

The combined lack of sunshine with below average temperatures will amount to a formula for feeling under the weather.  Thus, everyone will talk about the weather.  Although some welcome any postponement of hot, humid Indiana summer, others foresee a more ominous forecast for area temperatures. 

Each person you meet on the street has an opinion about the weather and they will tell you.

Get with the program people, this is Indiana weather! 

Indiana High School Basketball sectional time is nearing and some of the worst winter snowstorms have struck during this time period.  The snow may close schools, stop work and halt traffic.  You can bet the basketball sectionals will be played as scheduled.

It is winter in Indiana.  Deal with it. 

 

 

Holidays and the In-Laws

Now that Christmas is drawing near, eventually the time will come when the in-laws will come for a visit.  I have a few suggestions on how to make the visit memorable.  It might make a difference if they return next year.

Think of the decorations.  When decorating your house, think more, more, and more.  A house can never be over-decorated.  Decorations should dominate the field of vision at all times.  Explain to them how you have been so busy decorating and celebrating for Christmas.

Give each child at least a dozen cookies a day.  Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, it doesn’t matter which kind as long as they are sugar coated.  The most the child should have in one day is 27.

Purchase magazines that have headlines about divorce.  Perhaps go to the library and take out a book on open marriage.  Leave it on the coffee table.

Constantly tell your in-laws how you had to buy everything that the children wanted for Christmas.  Who is to say it was not healthy to satisfy all their desires?  Tell them how your husband told you about all those gifts he wanted so badly but never received.  Those disappointments haunt him to this day.

Pick up more than one credit card application as you walk out of the department stores.  Place these half filled out applications throughout the house.  Mention that you do worry about whether you can pay off your credit cards during your lifetime.  That’s a legacy you can pass on to your children.

Purchase gifts that send them a message.  Buy them a piece of luggage and give them a book on travel.  Enclose more than one brochure about taking a cruise for the holidays.

Bring out all the Halloween treats that were never eaten and brag about the good sales on candy you found.

Lose all self-control in your eating habits.  Don’t worry about gaining weight.  You can always lose any pounds in January.  Every time your mother-in-law asks if she can help in the kitchen, be munching on food.  It is a good idea to lick any spoon, cough, and put it right back in the bowl.

Switch the local radio station to an all jazz station or try to find a rap station.  Pretend to understand the lyrics, snap your fingers or tap your foot.

Talk about how you always wanted a Saint Bernard.  If you have a dog already, wouldn’t he be an added enjoyment inside the house?

Try to telephone as many other family members or friends as you can.  So what if your in-laws are in the other room?  Hello Aunt Betty in Georgia, my husband said your pot roast was the best he ever ate.  Can I have that recipe? 

Set the goal of creating that perfect Christmas for the in-laws.  No expectations can be too high for the holiday season.  In fact, next year might be more perfect than this year.   They might actually take that cruise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janurary in Indiana !

The long icicles hanging from the roof is just one of the many reminders of the recent snow storms that came through Indiana.  Residents had been fixated with snow, rain and then slick roads.  Long lines at the local car wash this past week meant everyone was trying to remove the salty slush mess left on vehicles.

A sure sign of spring:  Girl Scout cookies for sale.  This past week young girls went around the neighborhoods taking orders for Girl Scout Cookies.   So far I have purchased six boxes  —  after all most are fat-free.

With Indiana getting snow – I was surprised to see the lack of snowmen.  With videos and iPads is Frosty the Snowman the thing of the past?  I saw only one (lame) snowman in a yard on the south end of town.

At our house we are looking forward to a Superbowl Football party although with not as much enthusiasm as if the Indianapolis Colts were playing in the Indianapolis Lucas Oil-Stadium. 

We can hardly wait for the road crews to begin working on those chuck holes before it’s too late for your automobile.  Main Street has several hubcaps lost by passing cars.

Remember if you don’t like Indiana weather give it a day or two and it will change.  Just this week, in the middle of January, you can see people in the shopping mall wearing shorts and flip-flops.