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Last Friday was sunny and warm–perfect “vacation in Morocco” weather. I could just picture everyone in northern climes staring enviously at the pictures of Donn, in jeans and t-shirts, heading down to the beach for a couple hours of late afternoon surfing.

But after I waved him off and came inside, the wind started up, first as a faint distant noise, but soon a full-on door-banging shutter-rattling extravaganza. It howled. It “wuthered.” I yelled HEATHCLIFF and then instantly regretted it, as I had to spend hours trying to remember and explain the plot of “Wuthering Heights“ to Ilsa. It didn’t help that I have never especially liked that book. I find it over-dramatic and I lose patience with the characters and I think it’s probably the stupidest thing in the world for an author to name everybody the same name. How many Catherines are in that book? Why not at least spell some with a K? But I didn’t want to turn Ilsa off it before she has started really reading the classics, so I tried to be neutral as I described people driven crazy by the wuthering of the wind.  That part she understood.

First, the hallways filled with dead leaves, blown in under the cracks in the door. Then the door banged open, again and again. I had to lock it to keep it closed. Then came the rain, in sheets, in torrents, along with the longest peal of thunder I’ve ever heard, and flashes of lightening. Soon the dead leaves were floating in a puddle of water blown in under the door.

On Saturday morning, Abel got me up at 7:30 (he usually sleeps, this one) because the wind was whistling through the shutters. It really was–probably an E sharp, if I had to guess.

The storm raged unabated through the night and most of the next day, but Saturday afternoon the sun came out, pale and watery but soon gaining strength, adding scintillating jewel tones to the drenched and dripping landscape.

That’s how it’s been ever since–alternating sun and warmth with freezing, dripping wind and storms. This morning, for example, was warm and windy, but by noon it’s back to grey skies and wind-whipped trees. I don’t mind, but then I spent my childhood on the Canadian prairies. I just make another cup of coffee, and pray my umbrella lasts one more day as I shiver by the side of the road waiting for an elusive taxi to appear through the mist.

Our friends are snowed in somewhere in Europe, so we’re staying here a few extra days. It worked out well because the dr was also delayed in leaving, which could have meant 6 people in 3 bedrooms, more comfortable in theory than in fact. He’s gone now, bequeathing us the rest of the Starbucks in his freezer and the molasses in his cupboard.

Tomorrow is moving day for real. Who has a good recipe for gingerbread cookies? I like ’em chewy.

February 2009

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