poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘mittens

in winters past

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Cold here. Last week we reached a low of -25 (degrees Centigrade). As I watched the weather statistics I saw that the record for coldest weather for the day had been in 1973. The date whisked me back to my first winter in university. I barely recall those days, but I do remember hurrying back and forth across campus from class to class and the brown scarf I knit that year to keep my face from freezing.
To remember other cold weather, I just look at the winter garland of children’s socks and mitts strung across our chimney.
The red socks and little blue mittens hanging there were knit by my grandmother almost sixty years ago. We would have worn them on many bitter days spent in the cold Alberta winter. I remember my Mom wrapping our heads with multiple wool scarves, held in place by safety pins (long before the days of fleece and high performance fibres).
The green glove on the line warps me forward in time to the 1980’s when my son was in elementary school and the three-fingered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were all the rage. I knit three-fingered gloves for him for three winters, as fast as they were lost. The single green glove on the chimney line is the only one that has survived.

When the days and nights are cold, I still knit. Today, I knit socks to keep me warm both during the knitting and the wearing.
Cold weather? Bring it on! I have knitting needles and a skein of yarn!

Copyright 2015 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

January 12, 2015 at 7:25 am

from the pages of an old diary – the weather

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For any given date, the first entry in my great-aunt’s diary is a note about the weather.  Weather was important to my great-aunt.  It dictated what could be done during the day, if a wash could be put on the line, if she could go out walking to visit family and friends, and if a fire had to be kept going.   

She described the weather in various ways:  ‘nice fine day’, not very cold’, ‘dark day’, ‘fine very cold’.  Sometimes it just says ‘nice day’. 

Bad weather was sometimes called a ‘dirty cold day’ (April 11, 1957). 

Some days were described in a bit of detail.  On September 23, 1957, she wrote, ‘fine in the morning very windy cloudy in late p.m.’    On March 20, 1957, she wrote ‘a big snow storm on   drifting and blowing.’  March 21, 1957, the first day of spring, says ‘roads all blocked still snowing some’.  

Christmas Day, December 25, 1957, was ‘quite cold, a few snowflurries’.

On November 26, 1957, it was so cold, she wrote ‘I washed, clothes froze before I could get them on the line’.

It might be interesting to compare the actual weather records for 1957 with the weather she recorded!



September storm

                -response to a diary entry for September 5, 1957


                                             Thurs. rained hard last nt [night] also thunder and lightning. 

                                             Dad took car up to L.S. to fix.  I made dough-nuts [and] 

                                             biscuits, did a small wash.  went up street.

                                                                                       –          A.M.W.


last night dismal, thunder wobbled

the windows, a leak

in the pantry, the rain in curtains

across the yard,  forked lightning

the clothes pole vulnerable

car would not start, the driveway in runnels

freezer and the day’s baking

at the mercy of indecisive




© Jane Tims  2012

socks and mittens knit by my grandmother (my great-aunt’s sister)

Copyright Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

February 6, 2012 at 6:38 am

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