Tag Archive | Snow

Springtime in Maine by Ava Armstrong

From Christina: It is with great pleasure today that I welcome author Ava Armstrong to Time for Love. She’s sharing a few thoughts about springtime in New England. Enjoy!

 

Springtime in Maine

by Ava Armstrong

New England SpringSpring is a gradual process in Maine, but it always has the same effect on me, filling me with hope that better days will come. I have friends and family who escape to southern states to avoid the mud season. Being a New Englander, I couldn’t imagine missing the majesty of spring, watching the birds return and the Forsythia blooming brightly against the stark landscape of dried mud and naked trees. Early spring always makes me feel rejuvenated. This year, spring is arriving later than usual. Two days ago, walking in the front yard I noticed the beautiful Hyacinth, brightly purple, blooming. It was a pleasant surprise. The robins are now taking over the lawn. They are working busily to find food and build nests. Buds are forming on the trees, a yellow-green color, furled tightly still against the cool spring air. The sun will eventually coax the buds to open, always a glorious miracle to witness.

The ground is a soggy mess, but the grass is just starting to green ever so slightly. I tread lightly in my rubber slip on boots. The sound of stepping on the lawn makes a squishy sucking sound. There are some areas that the wind has dried up. The woodchucks are actively seeking prospects for food. They look like little balls of furry fat as they scurry out from underneath the garden shed. They are adorable but I will put the fence around the garden to discourage them.

The pine trees show signs of suffering through the harsh winter. This year we got 33 extra inches of snow, breaking a record I think. The bark is dark and there are sections missing. No doubt animals needed nourishment during the harsh cold spells. One tree in particular is very old. A colony of insects has taken up residence, it seems. One good thing about that is the ground water will be replenished by Mother Nature and there will be no drought conditions early in the season.

CrocusA few insects have already come to life awakening as if from a drunken stupor. On days when the wind dies down, the only sounds are the birds chirping and an occasional dog barking off in the distance. Adjusting my chair, I can usually find a windless place to sit in the sun and read a book for an hour or two, a wonderful pleasure missed during the cold indoor winter months.

Maybe that’s why a New Englander is so appreciative of these tiny, gradual changes. The long winter makes us appreciate every little bit of warmth so much more. The changing of the seasons follows the cycle of life, with spring representing the beginning of everything anew. It’s as if we can start over every year. Wipe the slate clean. Bring new people into our lives, make new friends, see something new every spring, plant new flowers or vegetables, read new books. Simple pleasures are most often the best. The simple pleasures of springtime are a salve for the soul.

My friends have e-mailed me from the southern climes telling me about how hot it is already. I feel like they are missing the greatest show on earth!

About Ava: 

Ava Armstrong lives in a small town in New England. An avid reader and gardener, she’s always found writing to be a enjoyable means of self-expression. She is a wife and mother who loves animals, especially dogs.

Her novel, A Sense of Duty, was recently published and is available at Amazon.

 

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Winter Reflections by Beverly Ovalle

From Christina: It’s been a cold, cold winter here in the midwest. Today’s guest author, Bev Ovalle, knows all about cold — and she takes it in stride. She’s here to share a few reflections on the season as well as some fantastic family photos. Enjoy!

Winter Reflections

by Beverly Ovalle

Winter has always been a season I’ve enjoyed.  Growing up in the Midwest, outdoor winter fun was always a feature.   Every winter sent us out to the pond to ice skate when I was growing up.  I may not have been great at it, but even today I still grab my skates and head out to the rink on the lake.  Snow ball fights and sledding were a daily feature whenever my brothers and I didn’t have school.  I learned the hard way not to sit at the front of a toboggan.  I was run over more than once when I fell off!  Okay, it took me a while to learn that.  I can be an incredibly slow learner!

Winter is a season of celebration for me.  Aside from Christmas, my son, daughter and husband have birthdays in December.  Their births were definitely a reason to celebrate as I always had wanted children.  My brothers are in November and January and my mom’s and mine are in February.  There are a number of birthdays in the family during the winter months and we love to celebrate, any reason for cake and ice cream!

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It was also the season of one the worst times in my life as I miscarried when I was three months pregnant.   I eventually learned to live with it, but that still has the ability to squeeze my heart in pain, regardless that more than a decade has passed. What I remember that winter is wandering the streets in the middle of the night as it snowed.  I couldn’t sleep much for a long time.  Wandering in the dark and quiet brought me the peace I needed.

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My best winter memory-other than the birth of my children- is Christmas Day a few years ago.  I came downstairs and my daughter said that my son had sent a special gift for Christmas.

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When I went to unwrap it, my daughter told me the box was sitting on my gift, just lift it up.  My son was inside!  He was leaving in two weeks for his first deployment to Afghanistan.  I bawled like a baby I was so happy to see him.

Opened_gift_box!

Winter is a busy, busy season for me.  I work at the Post Office so it is off the charts insane.  Thank goodness most customers are pleasant and understanding of the lines.  I do my best to make sure we have as much help as possible to keep the lines flowing.  I used to carry mail and always felt like the stay puff marsh mellow man when I was all bundled up.  Lucky as slippery as it is during winter, when I fell when I was all bundled up I usually just bounced.  Snow, ice and sidewalks just don’t mix well!

Mom,_It's_not_that_cold!

Probably in self defense from the intensity of the season at work, I dislike decorating for the holidays.  Now that my children are grown, I can get away with a little tree, but my husband likes to decorate.  Unfortunately I usually have to clean it up.  I’m ruthless.  I usually have it all down my New Year’s.

Because of work I usually don’t have time for baking or preparing anything special even though I just love Christmas Cookies.  I haven’t had time for years to do more than make cookies from premade batters.  I volunteered with a children’s group at church and we always made cookies in the church basement and packaged them up for shut-ins which we handed out when we went Caroling to their homes.  It was a wonderful experience to see that happiness we brought into the lives of our elderly when a group of children came to spread Christmas cheer.

Winter here brings lots of extra work. Scraping the cars off to not just get to work, but just to get into the car!  I rarely shovel as I have my husband for that.  I have no idea of even how to turn on the snow blower.  If I have to clear snow it is with the shovel, or I call one of my son’s friends and pay them to do it.

My preferred activity is to sit inside with a hot drink; sitting in my recliner and watching the snow come down.  Too bad that is something that rarely happens.  Maybe one day.

About Beverly: 

Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 24 years, Edmond, and two Chinese Water Dragons. Her son Nicholas is in the US Marines.  Her daughter Susannah lives nearby and is a CNA.

 Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

 She has published two books. Dragons’ Mate with Boroughs Publishing Group came out March 2, 2013 in their Lunchbox Romance Line. Her second, Lightning Strike, was published with Secret Cravings Publishing on November 2, 2013 in Weekend Getaways.

 

Winter Memories by Angela K. Roe

From Christina: While winter is not my favorite season, it’s nice to know there are people who truly love this time of year. Today, Angela K. Roe stops by to share some of her childhood memories of winter and growing up on a farm in Iowa. 

Winter Memories

by Angela K. Roe

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Winter is my favorite time of year. I love sweaters, sweatshirts, fluffy mittens and warm scarves. I love the way snow covers my world in a clean, fresh downy white blanket that hides the flaws and softens the sounds of our chaotic days.  I even like the crisp, cold air that invigorates and brightens our cheeks and noses.

 When I was growing up, we lived on a farm in the northeast corner of Iowa. My dad would harness the horses with bridles covered in bells and we would sleigh all around the farm. He’d plow under the vegetable garden, build a frame around with 2×4’s and lay down a thick blanket of plastic before flooding it to create our own ice skating pond. My brothers and I got new ice skates every year and knowing they were under the tree each Christmas did nothing to diminish our joy when we opened them on Christmas morning.

 We had skis, snow shoes and snowmobiles. We impatiently awaited the end of the school day so we could rush home and enjoy our own personal winter wonderland. From sliding off the barn roof and landing in huge piles of snow strategically placed by my dad and brothers, to building elaborate snow forts that we would hose down and allow to freeze overnight, my brothers and I loved winter. That love remains strong today.

 From the first bite in the air to the first Christmas decorations, I love winter.  I listen to the people at work complain about not wanting snow but we all stand at the doors and watch as those flakes fill the air and we’re all smiling. I hear the complaints about not wanting to drive in it and I watch as younger coworkers scrape snow off the cars of their older counterparts. We laugh as we set alarms on our phones to remember to go start the cars five minutes before it’s time to leave so we’re all in toasty warm cars with no ice on the windshields. We run back inside, shaking snow from our hair laughing as we stomp snow from our shoes.

 At home, the dog rolls in the snow at every opportunity. We have Christmas decorations up before nearly everyone else and we leave them up longer than most. We stretch the season out as long as possible because people are friendlier, happier and more caring. From shoveling out neighbors to exchanging home baked treats, from getting extra groceries for a sick friend to buying gifts for the less fortunate, people are kinder.  I love winter.

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 Merry Christmas,

Angela K Roe

Angela“Is there anything better than a sexy man who makes you laugh?” asks Angela. She considers herself blessed to have found such a man and married him — more than twenty years ago. Together they’ve raised a family, watched their children grow, and have shared lots of love and laughter — much of which ends up in Angela’s romance novels. 

You can find Angela — and her books — at Passion on Every Page