The Mayan calendar ended, but the Mayan apocalypse failed to materialize. I knew it wouldn't happen. The Mayan calendar maker probably died before he got to create the next calendar, and a lot of people have made a lot of fuss over nothing.
Winter, however, did arrive. Today is the first day of winter – Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It showed up with freezing temperatures where I live. After we woke up to 55 degrees yesterday morning, temps dropped into the teens during the past night. It's freezin' this morning!
I wouldn't mind winter so much if my house were a little warmer.
Hang on, while I break the ice off my keyboard. There. That's better. Now, where was I?
Oh, yes, my house is cold. I live with a crazy Norwegian, who tries to control the thermostat as if she's Jackie Frost and needs our home temperatures to be cool, crisp and frosty. She says that the 70-degree temperature I want inside the house makes her flush and uncomfortable and that we need to save costs on our energy bills and that we can help save the earth this way and that a tough Marine shouldn't complain about it. She likes to tell me how she slept with her bedroom window cracked open during the wintertime when she was growing up in Norway. When I was growing up here in Illinois, I had to hear how my mother walked two miles through the snow to get to school. Now I have to listen to this story of the open bedroom window in the middle of the Norwegian winter.
Many folks probably thought winter was already here. We've been getting closer and closer to Christmas, after all, and Christmastime means wintertime here in North America.
Christmas is next Tuesday, and the local meteorologists say we might get a little snow in the St. Louis area. A white Christmas would be nice. My mom will be here for Christmas dinner, and a little of the white stuff outside would go great with the warmth inside the house on Christmas Day. My lovely Norwegian will be sweltering inside our home on Tuesday, because we'll turn up the thermostat to be sure me mum is comfy. And the kitchen oven will be adding to the warmth, while it fills the house with the good smells of roasting Cornish hens, green-bean salad, pineapple upside-down cake, crescent rolls, and buttery butternut and acorn squashes.
Some years, we make a typical Norwegian Christmas dinner, which features three pork dishes – country pork ribs, Norwegian sausage, and a pork roast that comes out of the oven covered with crisscrossed pork cracklin'. The warmth of the oven and the aroma of roasting pork fill the house. I get warm and giddy just thinking about all that piggy goodness accompanied by the traditional red potatoes, Norwegian sauerkraut, and delicious lingonberries. Hark, my thoughts of chow are meandering, and I've drifted from the topic of winter.
So, today is just the beginning of winter. It's only the beginning! After the rest of December, we must make it through January and February, and even though spring arrives in March, it won't feel like it until the end of March. Maybe. If the winter lingers, it might be April before it feels like winter is behind us.
In the meantime, I'll have to convince myself of the joys of winter. Let me think about that a little while. Stand by.
I guess I should not complain. Today is also National Look on the Bright Side Day. I kid you not. There is such a day, and today is it. I'll try to look on the bright side. Let's see; at least the world did not come to an end today. Instead, the holiday season is here, many people are beginning their journeys home to spend the holidays with their families, and
life goes on.
There's one drawback to no Mayan apocalypse, though. If the world had come to an end
today, I wouldn't have to worry about another long, cold winter.