A few months ago, Californian Erin O’Brien wrote for BoomerCafé about moving. Not just from house to house, but from coast to coast. Why? A fairly typical boomer story: her husband was retiring. Now she’s getting settled in on the other side of the country — in Rhode island — and has discovered one thing for sure: Baby, it’s cold outside. Really cold!
When the alarm clock went off at 4:30AM, I reached for my glasses in the darkness and hurried to the window. No snow. My husband, newly retired (for just two weeks) thanked me for the announcement. I fell asleep to the sound of the fog horn in the distance and dreamed I was still in California.
Not long after that, it was barely light outside and my husband called me to the window. There it was: fluffy, sparkly, magical snow. I grabbed the camera, but not before my coat, scarf, hat, and boots, and when the screen door slammed behind us I breathed in the cold air in the wintry silence.
Our next door neighbor, bundled up and calming her dog, observed us tromping around and assured me there’d be plenty more photo opportunities. Thinking mittens would be clumsy with the camera, I clicked away until my hands were white with cold.
The wheelbarrow and the bird fountain took on a new beauty dusted with snow. Tiny animal tracks crossed the path. On the way down the hill to the cove I slipped and fell!
A lone dove sat on a telephone wire in the stillness. Every mossy snowy branch was a masterpiece. As it began to get lighter outside, neighbors on their way to work waved at the Californians in the snow.
Inside, the snowy scene is framed by the window above the radiator (which I’ve discovered is a great method of drying Vans tennis shoes.) A noisy bluejay lights on a snowy branch.
As I continue unpacking boxes after our cross-country move, I gaze at the snowy trees outside, and put away my radiator-dried California-brand tennis shoes for now. (What’s this? A package of “Quake Hold.” I won’t be needing that, either.)
Surprisingly, my Christmas poinsettias didn’t survive overnight on the front porch. A neighbor who introduced herself had noticed our frozen floral Christmas decorations. “They’re from California,” her husband whispered.
Coming from a land where gas comes out of the street, I watched in awe as the oil truck filled up my house with fuel for heating, just like a car with gasoline.
I’ve only been a Rhode Islander for a couple of weeks. Here’s to exponential growth on the learning curve!