White Madness Returns to Muchmore

There was no snow in Cincinnati last winter. My first winter, ever, without white stuff. OK, maybe there was a little dandruff one morning. Gone almost as soon as it hit the ground. I hate to admit it, but I missed that seasonal cue last year. The record was broken yesterday and the dawn was the better for it this morning.

dawn-bench dawn-bay treestudio dawnThe day’s are longer. These photos were taken at 7:30am. A week ago the sky would have been black at that time. Good. I make a mental shift once we pass the solstice. Something inside says life is a little easier. Light makes all the difference.

Of course, now that my silent longing for a little white stuff has been satisfied–I have to live with the consequences. Yesterday’s downfall created a 4pm slush that made our tall hills treacherous and the Muchmore drive unclimbable. Philip was unimpressed. Afterall, he just left 20″ in McFarland. We broke out the salt I bought and never used last season. Elder son got a good laugh when my feet went under me as I stepped off the salted drive and onto the lawn and my butt.

Rosemary Mueller called from the road. The east coast blizzard slowed them down considerable coming through Maryland on their way to Sannibel Island in Florida. Poor Thomas who left late morning to head to Wisconsin slid off 74 about an hour away on this side of Indiannapolis. He spent the afternoon waiting for a reluctant tow truck to pull him out only to be abandoned halfway through the job. Three good Samaritan’s finally got him on the road about 4:30pm. It took him about six hours to travel what is usually the two hour drive to Bloomington, Indiana where he now lives.

Turning on a Dime

Yes, only four days ago I was thinking that Cinci felt very unChristmasy — a veritable weather limbo. The night before the boys arrived I drove around at dusk taking pictures of the holiday decorations to artificially stimulate a little seasonal spirit.

The Mariemont Theatre and town square.

The Mariemont Theatre and town square

Outside the Mariemont Hotel

Outside the Mariemont Hotel

Clock outside the Exemplar

Clock outside the Exemplar

I was briefly taken in by the National Exemplar’s ivory clock face superimposed on the flourescent pink horizon and late day periwinkle sky. Yes, the hotel Santa was cute as he held court over the town square. Bright blazing pit fires burned outside The Latin Quarter and Exemplar looked a little forlorn waiting for a chill to invite patrons under the velvet lap robes.

The spray of green light against the carillon seemed to desperately signal the season.

Mariemont carillion

Mariemont carillion

In the old town square, the moon perched in perfect composition. The tall, tall village tree sparkled against store windows and surrounding car windshields. The windows of the 1926 English inspired Mariemont Community Chapel glowed in candlelight. Picturesque but like a dinner table set for the feast with no meal.

Old town square and village Christmas tree

Old town square and village Christmas tree

Mariemont community chapel

Mariemont community chapel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStill, by the time I stood in front of the tudor house across from the chapel, the little white lights were beginning to sparkle in my eyes and helped me forget what was not sparkling on the ground. Snow or no snow, it pleased me. All of it demonstrated what people could do if they wanted to create something–a feeling, a mood, something beautiful, an intention. As we found out yesterday, if you build it–snow will come.

Wishing you red-headed woodpeckers, navigable roads, hot chocolate and much more on this Christmas halo day.


About vbassoc

Donna Van Bogaert is a researcher and consultant in the field of cognitive styles, health communication, and organizational communication and behavior. Her business, Van Bogaert & Associates, Inc., specializes in cognitive-based coaching, management consulting, and leadership development. When the winds are blowing her way, she travels and talks about workplace potential and creative problem solving. In another life, Donna sings jazz. For a very long time, she fronted two 18-piece big bands —All That Jazz (Madison, WI) and The Gardenia Big Band (Rockford, IL). She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio where, in a third parallel universe, she leads a media branch of a national research institute. Mostly she has returned to painting, poetry, and plotting the next chapter of her life.
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