December 19-21, 2009:

Coming up to the Solstice, where night begins to turn again to day, dark to light, the revolving world warms, but not soon enough for some. My fingers are toes are  constantly cold. I have my mid-winter sinusitus, back aches from hunching against the chill. I miss walking outside.

So go the early winter complaints. They will be a drumroll until spring. But I do love the snow, the fairylands etched in ice. I think Lewis was wrong about the White Witch’s influence. We need the ice, the cold, the dark to appreciate its opposite. Of course if it were winter forever. . .

We were promised the storm of the century for Saturday night into Sunday. My daughter Heidi was doing the owl census in Hatfield for the Christmas Bird Count after midnight. (She learned fro the Master–her dad.) So I was on call in case she got stuck, with the phone by my bed. Glen’s boyfriend had packed his van with chains and a shovel and sand. We were ready. Bob Marstall and I, having dinner with friends and a movie after, cut the evening short since we worried about snow and snowplows and our cars being towed. Two parties I was going to on Sunday–one in Connecticut for Boyds Mills Press, one in Amherst in honor of Ted and Betsy Lewin, were canceled. The BMP party was canceled a day ahead because of the predicted storm. The other was canceled Sunday morning when Ted and Betsy couldn’t get out of Brooklyn because of all the snow.

And then the huge storm turned east at Hartford and went up the coast and we got nothing in the Valley here. Nothing. Big Fat O. Nada. Zilch.

The Hatfield luminarium ran as usual and we illuminated our walks and driveways with paper bags filled an inch at the bottom with sand and a vigil light. I filled about 60 for my part. Maddison and two of her girlfriends did yeoman duty to get the bags out in the icy weather, and lit about 2/3 of them before practically perishing of the cold. Heidi finished the rest. I was too cold to walk down to the center of town and stand around singing Christmas carols, so I shrugged that off. I have Reynauds Syndrome which means my hands and feet are cold enough, thank you. But I went to the neighbors’ for a lovely dinner party afterwards, and they said I’d been smart to stay indoors.

Heidi and I officially (ie the contract arrived at the agent’s) sold Princess Pig, a novelty book in rhyme about a very dirty/messy pig who is a princess. And I did a bit of work on Girl’s Bible and some poems. Some more on a new book Jason and I are proposing. And that was about it except for holiday shopping, present wrapping, and generally being lazy.

Oh and I got a bizarre phone call from a college in West Virginia where David had taught for a year back in 1959-60, before he moved to New York and we met. Seems he has some money coming from his pension plan and they had NO idea who he was, and did serious research to find me. Of course, I wouldn’t have been the named legatee on the document since we hadn’t yet met. Probably his mother and father who are long dead. So what is going to happen to the money (not a lot but certainly enough to make me want to sign the papers) is not yet clear. Somewhere he’s laughing at all this!

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