Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Chickens and Festivus

Snow shoveling is who I am. It’s my identity. It’s what I live for.

Not really. But I don’t mind shoveling. At the very least, it gives me something to blog about.

I recently made a few Facebook friends chuckle when I posted the following on my FB page:

♫ Oh, the weather outside is crappy
And I'm anything but happy
You know where those clouds can go
*%&$#@ snow, *%&$#@ snow, *%&$#@ snow. ♪

You could say that London has a lot of snow right now. The city is quickly becoming the world's largest igloo.

This is insane! I truly have nowhere to put the snow. The banks around the driveway and walkways are so high that our property is beginning to look like a walled city. I’m going to have to start building some snow turrets so I can see the rest of the neighborhood.

And it’s still coming down! If I hear “Let it Snow” or “Winter Wonderland” on the radio one more time, there’s going to be one less audio appliance around this household this holiday season.

Sheesh! I can’t wait for autumn to end!

But in all seriousness, I’ve never seen this much snow in Antler River at this time of year. And I’m no spring chicken. In fact, I’m a legitimate winter chicken.

Winter chickens, winter chickens,
Pecking in the snow.
Clucking through unlucky beaks,
“Where did that damn seed go?”

I think I might try that winter chicken recipe this year and have it instead of the standard turkey Christmas dinner. But I am hosting a rather large gathering, so I might have to cook it in a cauldron similar in size to the one the witches in Macbeth used.

Single, single, moil and mingle;
This mess tastes like that stuff on a shingle.

As I alluded to in my Facebook post, winter has not technically arrived. That doesn’t happen until the 21st. The first day of winter is known as the winter solstice. It is the shortest day of the year. Compare this to the summer solstice, which — as everyone knows —  is the tallest day of the year.

Ancient savage pagan heathen barbarians used to celebrate the solstice. They noticed that the sun had been getting progressively lower in the sky and more feeble each day since the tallest day of the year. Then, after the shortest day of the year, they noticed that the days started getting taller again. People were ecstatic that the sun didn't just fizzle out and die in a snow drift. It never occurred to them that the sun did the same routine every year. These were ignorant brutes who apparently needed help from aliens to build Stonehenge.

A Wikipedia article on the celebrations surrounding the winter solstice says in part, “Starvation was common in winter between January and April, also known as the famine months..." and  "The majority of wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking at this time.” I imagine the food wasn't missed all that much.

So whether your choice of celebration is Christmas, Burning of the Clocks, Festival of Lights, Festivus, Hanukkah, HumanLight, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, or Pongal; it's my wish that everyone enjoys the season. Rejoice in your own fashion (I mean party in your own way. I wasn't suggesting that you whoop it up over your clothes).
Oh, and a Happy Winter Chicken Day to all!

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