Sunday Things: Winter Storm Luna

I ask my daughter to look up information on the internet about the ice storm headed our way as I make lunch. “It’s Luna!” she says “Winter storm Luna — what a beautiful name for an ice storm!” She is enchanted and I agree — a beautiful name for such a deadly force of nature.

AccuWeather.com reports that “Meteorologists are monitoring a significant ice storm tracking through
the Midwest. This storm will cause substantial travel problems in the
Midwest this afternoon before shifting into the Great Lakes tonight. The
threat will even turn into the mid-Atlantic and parts of New England on
Monday.”  Source

Outside my windows the ice storm makes her first shy appearance in a swirl of white snowflakes as big as pearl buttons mixed with ice pellets that look like Venetian beads and shattered Swarovski crystals.

I made tomato soup this afternoon, from the tomatoes I canned this fall. Freshly risen bread is ready to be put in the oven. Tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches on a cold winter day always remind me of Connecticut.

Before my family moved (after my father’s death) to Florida and long before my family got scattered to different parts of the country, we lived in Connecticut and were marked, I think, with a love for sharp winds that blow in desolate places.

On the phone with my sister, Terry, I tell her, “You should see me all bundled up. Layers and layers; a down vest, a ski jacket and another ski jacket on top of that, two scarves, a hat and gloves!” She says she is imagining me looking like I did as a toddler all wrapped up against the snow.

“Do you remember when Mother would hang the laundry on the line outside and when she brought it in it would be so stiff, so frozen, that she could stand it up by itself?” Terry asks. “She would stand a pair of pants up to lean companionably against a shirt, do you remember that? Do you remember when she would make snow ice cream? How magical that seemed?”

I do remember those things. I remember the first time I saw snow, my big brother Tommy on my right and my big sister Terry on my left, both of them connected by holding my hands. “You can walk on it!” Terry said. “If you sink in we will pull you out.” Tommy assured me. And so the first time that I ever ‘walked on water’ was with the two of them.

Everything seems magical to me now about a time when we were all together.

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The 2013 Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Why would you want to be outside in the biting cold weather from now until February 3? The 2013 Saint Paul Winter Carnival is here with the following compelling reasons (and don’t forget hot chocolate!):

  • Juried art show!
  • Ice sculptures!
  • Free ice skating!
  • Torchlight parade (Saturday Feb 2)!
  • Much more!

Find out more, dates and times for events and entertainment, at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival website. See what the excitement is about and maybe you, like Persian poet Hafiz, will catch the happy virus.

The Happy Virus
By Hafiz of Shiraz

I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious —
So kiss me.

Tea Time

By Annette Marie Hyder

The snow is a white linen cloth on the table of the field
whose many dips and hollows are the cups and saucers
into which the sky pours hot sunshine.

Steam rises.
I’ll take mine with lemon and sugar please.

Roe v. Wade 40th anniversary

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. SLATE Magazine has a list of states competing to ban legal abortion first: Happy Anniversary Roe v. Wade! Here Are the States Competing To Ban Legal Abortion First.

There is an interesting article over at Jezebel, How Jane Roe Went from being a Lesbian Pro-Choice Icon to a Straight Born-Again Anti-Choice Activist.

And I have a previously published essay for you, “The Legislation of Flowers”.


Drops of Red, by raceytay.etsy.com

The Legislation of Flowers
Annette Marie Hyder
Originally published in Blue Fifth Review

If this were an allegory written to illuminate the abuse of women through the symbol
of flowers – if I wanted to show, in a story, the way that the intrinsic and multitudinous
beauty of women is destroyed over and over again in so many ways and in every land
 – then scenes of fields of flowers being wantonly plucked and tossed aside to wither
for no purpose, no reason, would bloom upon this page.
 
I could fill this page with images of a global flower field being invaded by corsage crazy
pickers raggedly ruining in a rampage of greed for dominion until the petals bled in all
their colors and the page reeked with the perfume of loss.
 
In asides, I would remind you that flowers are the secret essence of life – the quickening,
the blooming, the ripening and the withering – in more than metaphor.
 
Flowers attract, brighten, perfume and carry – the seeds of the future within them and
in spreading their petals and allowing the sharp tongue of bee’s exploration/bird’s
exploitation/wind’s dalliance and various other utilizations of their secret language which
is rich in propensity to procreation – they plant the continuation of life firmly with their
Chloris touch.
 
I could mention that there are forced bulbs – brought to maturity through artificial means
and before their time. I could talk, also, about those hothouse creations manipulated into
colors more vivid and shapes more fantastic than any that can occur in nature (as if those
natural shapes and colors were not wonderful enough). I could tell you about the isolated
life that the gilded lilies live in their rarified atmospheres.
 
If I wanted to illustrate the way that our culture can shape us – I might record the songs
sung by those cultivated flowers – the shivering song of misery that is beautiful to hear
because the flowers are beautiful and can’t help producing beautiful music with their tulip
throats, their rose lips, their marigold whispers and creamy gardenia sighs – tell you how
the hothouse workers hear the heavy droning of bees loaded with pollen thick with honey
 – making and quivering with the desire to plunge in that song and how the hothouse
workers take that song home with them in their heads – wondering where their humming
of pleasure and the quick use of their mates comes from and reveling in the drive – the
bustle, the alive and thick with satisfied confidence – that honeycombs their minds.
 
I might pontificate on crystallized edible petals that are used for garnish in gourmand
recipes – with “garnish” being as of little consequence other than to enhance the main
dish.
 
(I don’t have to tell you about the addictiveness of Poppies or the danger of Melicore – or
that Bella Donna is a poison and a cure.)
 
I might tell you a parable of the three wild flowers – Maidfern, Matronbloom and Wintercrone.
 
But what I really want you to think about when I am talking about the beauty and utility of
flowers is this: that women are not flowers.
 
We are not flowers. We are not for your picking, your clumsy vasing attempts in which you
sort order by the studious arrangement of us, we are not to be forced or permutated to
your ends.
 
We are something better than the lilies of the field, bouquets of symbolism, perfumed nights
and exotic colors, delightful garnish and purposeful receptacle for insect/bird/bee.
 
True, we are carriers of life, and it is only fitting that we should bear that life – but at/in/under
our own proper season – one of those seasons being “not now,” one of those seasons being
“not at all.” The decision is solely our own – not to be governed as if by some strict
“horticulturist’s” code – not given over to the winds of politics or the rains of propaganda – not
legislated according to a potpourri of misinformation and a misguided desire for one group to
impose their ideas of how woman should be – whether aesthetically or procreatively.
 
Let there be no legislation of our bodies/our “flowers”/ourselves. We are fecund and we wish
to remain so – but free.
 
One “flower’s” opinion.