As I turn over the calendar on December first, I think of this nursery rhyme I read to my children when they were little:
“The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow,
And what will the robin do then, poor thing?
He’ll sit in the barn, and keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing, poor thing.”
Snow and cold and darkness were hard for my great-grandmother, especially when she became dependent on a wheelchair. In her journals she laments the absence of loved ones, but also takes joy in the presence of every-day comforts – a furnace, some sunshine, and her grandchildren.
Sunday, December 1, 1912 – “A nice day. My mother’s birthday – Ninety-two years old. Would like to see her today. She is a well preserved old lady, her great trouble being rheumatism which keeps her from getting around freely. I truly sympathize, being twenty years younger than she is in years, but sometimes think not so many in feelings. Snow still on the hills.” – Lydia Jane Hall
Friday, December 30, 1921 – “Nice day. Quite cold, below zero this morning – windows covered with frost. Couldn’t see out of them. The North window still has some left on it. I have been sitting in the Sitting room this morning in the sunshine to keep warm, the children with me. With the furnace fire and doors closed was very comfortable.” – Lydia Jane Hall
On Wednesday: Afternoon Coffee