Last year the season looked like this -
Snowfall on December 31, 2007
This year the lawn is greeny-brown and dry. Last year's flower beds are a mass of broken stalks and weathered leaves. We had a brief snow squall on the 7th and an ice storm in the middle of the week that had New England towns declaring themselves states of disaster. Ice coated tree limbs downed power lines, and at one point, more than a million homes were without electricity. The temperature dropped down and the wind picked up. The weather map showed fingers of pure rain, as much as three inches falling in an hour, reaching down between the sheets of ice elsewhere. My town was in one of those fingers. We had a few flooded roads but never lost power nor saw a bit of ice, while the mountain behind the house was coated in frozen white.
Last weekend snowflakes swirled around my head like flurries of small white birds as I hunted for just the right tree to put on my coffee table. My cottage is so small that I must find a tree with a crooked bottom but a perfect top, undesirable to the hordes looking for tall, straight trees. I found one and brought it home. I hauled the box of Christmas ornaments from the back of the closet, strung colored lights among the branches, draping tinsel over all. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough of a snowfall to so much as whiten the lawn.
Here my mother and her father get ready for Christmas. In the 1930s, lead tinsel cost 29¢. Cut straight at the edges and falling a good 14 inches or so, the tinsel was a far cry from the flimsy, crinkly stuff of today. When I was a child, we used lead tinsel. It's still available on ebay.
This year, as in the years since my grandchildren were born, I will travel to their house on Christmas Day. The three of us are hoping that before I leave, the season will once again look like this.