The lazy smile that spreads over J’s face when he knows something we don’t know has been firmly affixed since this morning. It has also been backed up by Christmas music, and he cheerfully came outside to sweep leaves and soak up the constant drizzle that seems to be enveloping us. The weather forecast says we’ll eventually get rain by the bucketfuls and we might get snow showers here and there…
The In-House Groundhog has determined that the cold weather is here to say, and that any rumors of and Indian Summer later in the week are not only unjustified, they are downright risible. While last weekend he complained when I tried to remove the screen curtains from the door frames that give access to the great outdoors, today he assisted in their removal. While last week there was very little enthusiasm when a pumpkin for carving was mentioned, today he smiled broadly when we returned from the grocery store with a sizable orange gourd-like orb. In spite of the cold air and breeze (43℉ or 6-ish Celsius,) and the constant drizzle, TGG has decorated our doorway with “spiderwebs.” J hasn’t so much as batted an eyelash to stop any preparations…
I know J has accepted, nay…AUTHORIZED, the cold weather because this morning he stopped in his room, cozily relaxing, until nearly nine. He had followed me downstairs at six to get his medication, and turned on his heels to go straight back to bed. In summer this is not something we do voluntarily…we have to be bribed to return to the cocoon. Today, smiling and quietly hopping up the steps, he went back, climbed into bed and turned off the light. We suspected that, perhaps, it was just the rain that persuaded him to do this, but this afternoon he has welcomed us into the living room where I sat reading and Dada sat working at the computer for a whole hour while J clapped and giggled through the same Christmas carol over and over again. Blankets were offered; lamps were lit. He welcomed us into the warm glow of his preferred area, and he pointed out how cozy we were and then how miserable it looks outdoors.
Our new camp stove works well. It is also light enough that, in winter, I can bring it up to the kitchen balcony if I need to…which I hope I won’t. I confess that I am relieved we now have it because when Dada travels, if we have an outage, I can still cook. I walked around the pantry this morning and we are well provided for in terms of canned and dry goods, but I have a few things that I need to add to my shelves before winter comes. We have been told (not unkindly) that our first winter here was unusually gentle. Having grown up dealing with tropical storms and hurricanes, I don’t take prepping for emergencies lightly.
I am happy to announce that J has made peace with Zelda. It came about rather unexpectedly. By peace, of course, I mean that J has lost any apprehension he felt about dealing with the cat. Not only does he now call her by her name (which, in his vocabulary, is signed as CAT but using the Z movement,) but he also feels empowered to tell her to leave his room. For some reason, she loves his room; if the door is open, she will immediately dash in there and head directly for his little battery-operated fiber optic lamp. J plays with this lamp for five minutes every night, and Zelda does her best to play with it as often as possible during the course of the day. She knows its operational state involves illumination, and she has yet to experience it that way up close. Today, after changing his sheets, J saw Zelda dash into his room and he followed her; there she was, parked in front of the lamp. J politely said PLEASE to her, and then looked at Dada as if to say “hey! She’s not playing fair!!!” Dada said “J, she doesn’t understand PLEASE so you just have to shoo her!” Out came Slinky, Indiana J’s best friend, and this propelled Zelda from the table to the bed, where (in true Zelda fashion) she plopped down as if all her bones had turned to liquid. J said PLEASE and whipped out Slinky, and Zelda looked at him with her big yellow eyes. She wouldn’t move. J, knowing that we wouldn’t be of much help, then leaned forward and smacked the mattress quite firmly, and this startled Zelda enough that she dashed out of the room. The smile on J’s face was priceless.
I am hoping that the weather doesn’t cause school to be cancelled. I don’t think this will happen unless the wind downs trees or a major power outage takes place. The only other thing that might affect the schools is flooding or the river rising to a menacing level. To get to J’s school, the bus has to go over bridges that span tributaries of the much larger, navigable river. Snow could pose a problem, but so far we’re only hearing snow showers and well-above freezing temperatures.
Time to go back to the “tundra.” J has been doing laundry all day and is happily waiting to get everything cleared out of the laundry room. We are watching for drips there, as usual. I am sure that the ceremonial carving of the pumpkin will take place some time after dinner, which means that some time BEFORE dinner, J will have to take his bath. He does this every year…he gets clean to get dirty, and then he goes back and bathes again. I have to persuade him to wear his boots when out from tomorrow on; I don’t mind if he carries his heavy sandals to wear IN CLASS, but he must wear the boots to go out. This might require great diplomacy.
I leave you now. The coziness of the tundra beckons.