The same bench from previous post.
Yesterday, I was humming Christmas carols. Today, my lyrics sound more like this:
“There’s got to be a morning after, if we can hold on through the night
We have a chance to find the sunshine; let’s keep on looking for the light.
Oh, can’t you see the morning after? It’s waiting right outside the storm.
Why don’t we cross the bridge together and find a place that’s safe and warm?”
The forecasters have predicted all week about spring-like temperatures this weekend. So when Saturday morning arrived, I jumped out of bed like a kid eager to hear news that school was closed for a snow day. I know mild January temperatures are out of the ordinary — unless this is the new ordinary — but I had big plans for this weekend, even if it was just some basic tidying up of fallen twigs and leaves.
Imagine my surprise, though, when I looked outside and saw nothing but gray and wet. I don’t know if the forecasters neglected to mention rain with the spring-like temps or if I just stopped listening to the forecast when I heard spring.
In any event, I decided to make the best of it — because when life gives you rain on your garden, grab a camera and take some pictures.
What to do? It’s an early January day, one of those odd ones that’s wedged between cold fronts. On Long Island, that means it sort of feels like March, and there is an urge to bundle up and start spring cleaning — while the inner voice says, “Don’t be too quick. This is just a winter lull, and there will be icy temperatures at any moment.”
As if to serve as a reminder, there are the remnants of last night’s flurries (above) and autumn leaves encased in ice on top of the pool cover (below).
Miracle. It’s one of those words that’s often tossed about, especially at this time of year. Just Google the phrase “Christmas miracle” and see what comes up — miracles, it seems, are no longer just on 34th Street. They are, in fact, everywhere — and on this particular day, they make up a large part of my life.
Today, is my 15th birthday. Geez, it was only a few days ago I was 12 — or, rather, being an uncle and having to purchase a Christmas gift for my 12-year-old niece.
Never mind, though — today I am celebrating the miracle of being 15.
December 12, 1997, was like many of those Long Island winter days — not sure if it wanted to be cold enough to snow or warm enough to rain. The result was a gray, damp, slushy mix that left a coating of black ice on the pavement — and this was my commute home.
It’s official. I’m old.
Although 50 is around the corner; although I wince each time I hear ‘80s music on an oldies-but-goodies radio station; and although the sunlight reflecting off of the grays and silvers in my hair causes a halo effect — I never considered myself old.
Until I went to the mall to shop for some Christmas gifts for my 12-year-old niece.
I hope you don’t mind, but in honor of Thanksgiving, I’m offering some leftovers — in the form of a repost. I’ve reworked it a bit to make it more palatable, but the gist is the same: a couple of crazy Long Islanders will do just about anything to give their yard a tropical look. Besides, it’s way to cold and blustery today — too cold to hold the camera to redocument this process.
Enjoy — and fresh material is on its way.
I may be the gardener of the house, but Joe also has his landscape loves. One of his greatest is palm trees. His absolute fave is Cocos nucifera, the coconut palm. If it were up to him, coconut palms would be growing everywhere. We often joke that he would be to coconut palms what Johnny Appleseed was to apples — only he would be called Joey Coconuts, which does sound a little — alright, a lot — like a character from “The Sopranos.”
One of my favorite Christmas carols is “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and my thought was to use it as the basis for a “Bloomin’ Update” post with photos of wintry scenes. But this winter hasn’t been so bleak. In fact, it feels more like mid-March than mid-winter. Perhaps a more appropriate title should be “In the Balmy Midwinter.”