WINTERTIME, that is. It’s fallen on us hard. It does the same most every year, so you’d think we’d be used to it, but it always hurts.
As we have no air-conditioning because we don’t need it, we have no adequate heating either in spite of needing it, but due to needing it only about 10 weeks a year, we don’t do anything about it. We muscle through. The other 42 weeks, everything feels just fine.
But those 10 weeks, yowser!
It came in force a couple of nights ago. It announces its arrival via the birdbath that sits on the Jesus Patio. The bath freezes over, becoming a skating rink for the perplexed birdies. It was even worse last night.
Another reason we have no heating that actually does much good is that the effects of winter are felt almost entirely at night and the very early morning. When the sun’s been up a few hours, the temperature heads north. There is easily a 40-degree difference between sunrise and 2 p.m.
Here’s my dawn routine: Before going to bed each night, I drape a heavy coat over a kitchen chair alongside a scarf and my watch cap. When I shiver into the kitchen each morning, I don those duds right off.
I usually keep them on till noon.
But there’s a beauty to these bone-cracking mornings. The sky is blue. The sun is shining. The birds are singing loonily. But there’s an ugliness too. With the first freeze, the banana trees droop and turn a yucky brown. The Golden Datura does the same.
This morning, Abel the Deadpan Yardman comes, but not to mow the grass, which needs no mowing because it hasn’t rained in weeks. He comes to cut the bananas down to size. They always return the following year. Same for the Golden Datura.
There is no perfect world.