‘It’ Being Winter
There was a light frost on the car windows this morning and a few flurries in the air on the way to work but there is no winter yet. The news engaged in a bit of fear mongering this past weekend (as the news likes to do) and warned us about the possibility of a few inches of snow and below zero temperatures all week. Neither happened or is likely to, at least not this week. As I was driving home today with the windows cracked and minding my speed (see “Where is Winter?”) still waiting for winter to arrive I got to thinking about a rather odd question (as I like to do).
What is an actual Midwest winter these days, and how does a modern Midwest winter compare to those winters I remember from previous years? I mentioned on December 9th that winters of the past were punctual, predictable, and parted in a timely manner. Winters of the last few years haven’t shown up when they should. The news can’t seem to make any sort of accurate prediction concerning the weather out here in the Midwest, and when winter does arrive it stays long enough to rob some of the beauty of spring.
Maybe it’s time to stop being sentimental about winters from the past and embrace these new Midwest winters. Maybe I need to keep short sleeve shirts and flip flops ready through January. Maybe I don’t need to get the snow blower ready by Thanksgiving. Maybe I need to accept that there won’t be as many winter photo opportunities as there were in years past. Maybe I’ll just keep waiting.
The Return of Thrills and Chills
Graveyard, boneyard, and cemetery are just a few words used to identify a final resting place. This collection of synonyms (some a little more euphemistic than others) is just one aspect of the graveyard that fascinates me. A graveyard can be a bit of a contradiction. It is both a source of history and an end of it. It is a solemn place that is often ornately decorated. It is a place where people are both remembered and forgotten. The graveyard is both literal and symbolic. These contradictions are worthy of a close study and a bit of conversation.
We walk, pedal, and drive by graveyards on a regular basis. Some of you, like me, may live near or grew up next to a graveyard. They play important roles in our lives and in our art. Graveyards in one form or another exist in almost all cultures and throughout time. October is the ideal month to take a closer look at graveyards as place and idea.