Saturday morning, again

saturdayweatherRight now, it’s almost fifty degrees warmer than it was Monday morning. By some standards, it is cold but it feels rather warm. Following our freezing cold of Monday morning with the incredible wind chills, we’ve warmed up, relatively. It’s still January and there are colder days ahead; and of course there is February and March and possibilities of more cold and snow. It’s winter in the Midwest. It is the price we pay for the three other seasons.

I grew up in south Texas where summer begins in early May and ends in late September, or November depending on the year. Winter comes for a week; sometimes, for two weeks, but it is like that houseguest you are glad to take to the airport at the end of their stay. Depending on who’s telling the story (I escaped \ I was released \ I ran away) from Texas over twenty-five years ago. I lived in northern California for three years then arrived in Chicagoland in the early nineties. I’ve been here ever since. I miss Texas and my family, but I love the Midwest even when it is cold and snowy, as it has been this winter. The weather is not always this brutal, last year at this time, we had 1.3 inches of snow for the season, and this year we have hit the normal for entire season already with close to 35 inches already.

It is mid-year for my students and me, the first semester ended yesterday.  Second semester begins Monday. It is the best part of the year, because the seeds we planted in the first semester begin to bloom and grow. It’s amazing how far my seventh graders develop from late August to early June. The new term brings me to Sherlock Holmes and the two stories we read: The Red-Headed League and The Speckled Band. If you haven’t read them, give them a whirl or re-read them. I love reading Sherlock Holmes with my students because they miss so much because of the language and they know so little about the Victorian era in England. They are some life lessons hidden in these two gems, I work hard to get them to look past the language and see beyond the words. After we’ve read the stories, we’ll watch the each television episode in class. It is fun to see their perceptions change when they can visualize the characters and the settings. I imagine that I had the same epiphany as an adolescent. I just don’t remember it.

Ivy waiting patiently for W to come out after wrestling
Ivy waiting patiently for W to come out after wrestling

For my own kids it is a new term at the end of the coming week. O will be in her last semester of elementary school. Next year, she’ll be at the middle school and closer to another year of me LIVING seventh grade, no escape round two. W has finals next week and then they have a long four-day weekend. Next week, will be interesting. W is at an all-day wrestling meet today, he’ll come home spent and he’ll need to prepare for finals next week. He is ready for the term to be over and a reset, too.

I have things to do as well, the usual tasks the weekend brings – grading, chores, and football. Last night, we stayed in and relaxed. The weather changed at the end of the week and Friday brought rain, turning the slushy driveway and roads into slippery hazards. B took a tumble on the driveway and is sleeping in; I hope she is feeling okay today. She was stiff last night when we enjoyed Friday night watching a movie in the family room. B has been wanting to cook beef stew. She has the ingredients, so I’ll be cooking this afternoon. I am going to prepare beef Bourguignon, a classic Julia Child recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I have a copy of the book in the bookcase downstairs and memories of my mom cooking it for us, long ago. A few years ago, I cooked it for Christmas dinner and it was good, very good. I winged the recipe, sort of. I followed the basic directions and it turned out well. I’ll give it a whirl and report out later. I’ll try to get O to help me. It will be a perfect day for cooking and staying inside. The weather is going to be cold and grey perfect weather for staying indoors, having a fire, and being comfortable.

As for football, I’ll get to watch today but the games I want to see are tomorrow. I have arranged the happy meal toys according to the matchups. Yeah, I am a geek and I did succumb finding the missing teams on e-Bay. Today is gonna be a great day, I know it and I can feel it. So, I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, even when it is cold and grey.

How’s the weather in your world, this fine January day? Whatcha gonna do with it?

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10 thoughts on “Saturday morning, again

    1. Coleen – I hope your world is okay, it’s Friday morning and it’s gonna be a great day…. it’s cold, cloudy and overcast, but it’s January in Chicago – I’m not gonna let that get me down. It’s gonna be a great day. I hope yours (and the coming weekend) is too!

  1. Love the football guy toys! They look pretty cool.

    Yeah, this weather is nuts. It jumped to near 60 over the weekend but was pouring rain most Friday night and all day Saturday. Then Sunday was around 40. Global warming?

    I’m also rooting for the Broncos. This next Sunday will make for great TV watching!

    1. Thanks! I’ll be rooting for the broncos, too… and the Niners, but it will probably end up being the Seahawks. It has been crazy weather, yesterday when I walked outside after school, it felt alomst like spring… almost… and yet there is more to come. have a great day, I am gonna give it a whirl.

  2. I’m fortunate in that the weather has once again warmed up. As for your football predictions…The only thing I truly care about at this point is that San Fran and the Pats don’t win. I have a soft spot for Peyton Manning, so I am cheering him on despite my dislike of the organization for which he currently plays.

    It’s been a while since I’ve read a Sherlock Holmes mystery, so thank you for the recommendation to revisit. I think I just might!

    1. I lived in the Bay Area from 87-90 – during the hey day of Montana’s tenure.. it was fun to watch them… I am rooting for Peyton all they way.. I watched him in college and he was ‘just down the road’ until a few years ago.. he is fun to watch. So far I’m 2 for 2, It’s fun to watch…. had the fire going and dinner was delicious, finished with pears poached in red wine, yum! have a great day!

    1. I saw your posts this morning – love the photos. I talked to my mom yesterday and she bragged about the weather… it made me sad… but spring will be here soon and all will be right with the world. ivy is loving the reduction in snow, it’s so much easier for her to chase the squirrels! one day she’s gonna get one.

  3. I wonder whether your students think that Sherlock Holmes’ London is the 21st century city we know nowadays? Here in France, people regularly suppose that Charles Dickens’ London is still around: all that fog! They decline to believe that things have changed a bit.

    And the weather today? Fine and mild, thanks. Tomorrow too.

    1. they have a difficult time envisioning a world without our modern conveniences – phone, heat, indoor plumbing, and light… there is a passage in the Blue Carbuncle where Holmes makes a deduction and he references that ‘he has tallow stains on his hat – meaning that he does not have gas’ completely lose them… sadly, we don’t read the story anymore, but it is a good one… the weather is still January, 33F/1C but sunny! To quote popular culture,,,,, it’s all good!

Let me know how YOU are Making YOUR Days Count!