A January Valentine

We might as well revel in winter this year. Some say it’s the coldest on record in three decades. The reveling doesn’t take much for me; I’ve always loved winter. I think the soul loves the season into which one is born, so since this is my birth month, I don’t mind snow and cold and dark from mid December through mid March. Though, I must admit my spoiling: my work takes me to more temperate climes on occasion during the winter, and it’s been years since I’ve felt anything akin to Cabin Fever or SADD, both of which affect a lot of people I know. I spent Saturday and Sunday in the Caribbean, trying to soak up as much sun and heat as possible. Odd, I thought yesterday when I returned, the need to remove a thick winter glove to scratch at a mosquito bite on my wrist.

These lovely old six-over-six ladies are waiting out the winter propped against our fence, a few feet from the place they’ll be “installed” as a garden ornament in the spring. Last summer, TBM and I discussed the need for a privacy screen of sorts- important to him to shield the street view of our backyard; important to me to shield the place where the Large Breed is digging his way to China. After some thought, I came up with an idea to use windows so that sunlight wouldn’t be entirely occluded. I sketched my idea (which has more to it than just windows) and suggested to TBM that we look for some at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. We happened to be heading that direction that day, and as we pulled into the parking lot, I spied these girls with at big ol’ FREE sign propped against a dumpster. “Hey…!” I exclamed, pointing toward them, and TBM replied, “Hmmm…” with a promising tone (he’s never been much into street finds and laments most of the things I lug home, though lately he’s starting to see the light). We got out of the car and gave the windows a good review: they’re made of wood; all the panes are intact; the sash are painted shut and the paint everywhere is peeling, but we don’t intend to lower and raise them anyway. They were perfect for my idea of the screen, so we loaded them up and drove home.

I hoped we could build the screen before growing season was over last fall, but alas our floor project overtook our existence. For now, the windows are propped against the fence in our back yard, providing a focal point in an otherwise bleak expanse, frosting over on both sides, catching snow on their muntins, and reflecting the sunrise, as they’re about to do here. After I’d taken this photo and left on a walk with the dog it dawned on me I would miss their best show of the day. Nonetheless, the picture is a reminder of something to anticipate when the northern hemisphere tilts again toward the sun, and mosquito bites will be plentiful and easy to scratch because I’ll not be wearing gloves.