In the bleak mid-winter (still) – You don’t say by Ray Hudson VOl.106

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Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson

Well you knew our luck would run out sooner or later. After all we had four years without a real winter and I figure some celestial accountant demanded the environmental balance be re-established. So here we are, spoiled lotus-landers that we are, struggling through the snow drifts in our LuLu Lemon yoga pants at midnight, to recover our refuse repositories (garbage cans), fill them up and leave them on the roadside so the boys on the noisiest truck in the world can play mechanical reveille. Don’t worry about the raccoons or coyotes getting into them, they’re too smart to risk exposure in brass monkey weather. Nay they be snuggled away somewhere nice and warm.

The TV meteorologist says there will be more snow tonight, and again toward Sunday, then rain. Of course! Sorry folks. If we’re going to have snow, I’d rather it be accompanied (at least during the day) by blue skies and bright sunshine. In my book, there’s nothing more depressing than a grey landscape melting into a sloppy mess with a side order of rain! But I depress…. Uh, I mean, digress.

Winter: not the wonderful winter portrayed by the delightful work of American print makers Currier and Ives, who’s romantic versions of 19th Century winter graced many a Christmas Card. No, I have found some Idioms and appropriate phrases that are right at home in winter’s environs.

To be in the dead of winter – refers to the coldest, darkest part of winter – when nothing is growing (dead)

To be on thin ice is to find oneself in a risky situation, where one may professionally or emotionally fall through the “ice of life.”

Conversely, to break the ice is a phrase meaning to – to create a more friendly and relaxed atmosphere. But doesn’t falling (breaking) through thin ice and braking the ice mean the same thing? Of course not – you’re dealing with English!

If you put something on ice – you’re either stocking up the beer fridge or postponing a project for another time. Just don’t put it on thin ice (it’s not cracked up to be what it’s supposed to be!)

If you’re experiencing the snowball effect you may be experiencing something really great, or life might be getting out of control. Either way it refers to something small that keeps growing in importance or significance as it gathers more snow. Being snowed under – to be overwhelmed, usually with responsibilities – generally happens as a result of some great idea (at the time) snowballing until it rolled down the hill of life and left you buried and burdened (or maybe just buried) in snow.

But enough of this, let’s consider some wise observations about the stuff:

  • For every snowflake that falls an idiot forgets how to drive
  • Snow is not a word. It’s an acronym for Stuff No One Wants
  • You don’t have to shovel sunshine.
  • My favorite winter activity is going back inside and putting my pajamas on.

And my last word on snow, “Whoever ticked off Princess Elsa…. Apologize!”

But never mind.  Here’s something to ponder: Daylight Saving Time, is just over two months away. Doesn’t that just warm the cockles of your heart. Sure! What’s a cockle? It comes from the Latin description for the heart’s chambers, cochleae cordis. It is believed that the word “cockles” is a corrupted version of cochleae, most likely entering the popular vernacular as a form of slang. Yes but doesn’t sweet Molly Malone sing about Cockle and Muscles Alive Alive-Oh? So what are they anyway, parasites like heart worm? No, just a wee mollusk. How romantic!

Instead of the Flue this winter, get yourself a virulent strain of Spring Fever: To have spring fever is to feel restless from the long cold winter. It is the over eagerness to enjoy the warm spring sunshine! As opposed to Cabin Fever which many of us started to show symptoms of too much exposure to “Love it or List it” in late January, when you’re barely… alive, alive Oh!