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Snippets from a Cold Day

Sun, 18 Dec 2016, 10:51 AM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

It’s cold for us, although it might be colder for you. You might look down your nose at our definition of cold. (I did, if I recall, see minus signs on temperature maps last night.) But thankfully minus signs never reach down here, so cold for us is when outside faucets get wrapped and cold-not-so-hardy plants get covered and a 75 watt incandescent lightbulb gets hung in the greenhouse.

So snippets from a cold day…


Izzy walks into the study and looks at me, certain that I will catch her drift. If I don’t, she’ll put her paws up on the side of the chair, and if I still don’t, she’ll scratch at my legs until I pick her up and slip her under the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association sweatshirt that my brother gave me years ago. She curls up and lets out a contented sigh, and unless I get up, she will stay there — a lump under the sweatshirt — for the rest of the day (unless of course, the fair and industrious Trudy has something better to offer, like a browning chuck roast in the kitchen).

2. Mr. Guinness

His ears were always sensitive. He was wary of anyone reaching down to pet him, because they might rub his ears, and his ears often hurt. And he didn’t like the sound of unrolling packing tape — that scraping, unsticking sound that accompanies any effort to seal up a box before taking it to the post office. 

As she seals up a box before taking it to the post office, the fair and industrious Trudy pulls on a roll of packing tape, making that unpacking tape sound. From the next room, I think the same thing she does. Guinness always objected to this, barking loudly to voice his complaint. This year, for the first time in 16, there is no complaint.

3. Titmouse

“Remind me,” I said a few days ago, “when it gets cold, I need to knock down the wasp nests by the front and back doors.”

Yes. We typically have wasps by the front and back doors. But we like our bugs, by and large, and those we don’t like are generally kept in check by wasps, and so the coming and going of wasps just above our heads is a cost we are willing to pay for the service they provide. Still, there’s a limit, and so typically we knock down their nests at the end of the year, so that at least they have to start over from scratch in the spring. Otherwise, the headstart leads to comings and goings of wasps not above our heads, but rather at chin-level, which has obvious downsides.

“David, come here,” the fair and industrious Trudy calls. 

We stand at the patio door and watch a Titmouse come fluttering up to the eaves and pick determinedly at the wasp nest. It flies off and then returns and picks at it some more. And yet again.

I won’t have to knock down the nests, after all.

© jumpingfish by David Hasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License