Friday, January 22, 2010

january gray...

The sun has finally come out!
Well, it did. For a little while.

It's gone again. Replaced once again by this dreary gray.

Yesterday was so bright that I almost felt as if I should have had my sunglasses on while sitting in my office at home. It was the first time in several days that the big ball of yellow-orange orb called the sun came into view.

We, here in Cleveland, have been experiencing the January Gray.

That's my term for it. January Gray.

It's those days that run together into night into day again without so much notice. The sky, the ground, the air, even the lake is all the same color. Gray.

It's not the wonderful, peaceful, soft dove gray of one of my much loved cushy, cashmere sweaters, but that edgy gray that makes you think of hard, cold metal. It's dismal. It's dreary. It's downright crap.

It's difficult on days like these, even for an optimist like me, to feel perky. Or alive. Weather like this just makes me want to stay in bed. I don't feel like working out, getting dressed or leaving the house. I feel lethargic.

This past week has been like that.

When the weather takes this turn you can understand how people must feel with seasonal affective disorders. I had a friend years ago whose brother suffered from SAD. They had a large light panel in their living room that he would sit in front of daily. It imitated natural sunlight. I thought it odd at the time, but I get it now. I wish I still knew her, I need a little dosage from that sun panel.

Winter doesn't bother me. I actually quite enjoy it. When others are complaining about the cold and snow, I don't chime in. I love the cold that allows me to bundle up in my beloved turtlenecks, mittens and coats. I love putting on boots and hearing the crunch of fresh snow underfoot. I love when it's so cold you can hear the crackle of the tree branches straining under the weight of ice and snow. The chatter of icicles hanging from houses.

I love that about winter.

But these past days haven't been like that. It's not beautiful. It's not cheery. It's just cold. And dark. And gray.

What is left of our gorgeous white snow has been replaced dirty piles of ice particles. The precipitation of this winter is not of snow, but rain. It's not the rain of spring that feels fresh and clean. This is that cold rain that chills you to the bone. Not warm enough to melt everything, it leaves behind traces of what was. Piles of icy muck at the edges of driveways. Debris on the tree lawns that had been hidden is now exposed, frozen to the ground.

We've had some peculiar weather for this time of year. Quite unusual, really. Three days ago we experienced a heavy fog that lasted for days. Days. It was odd and eerie, right out of a Stephen King novel. I had taken the dogs down to the beach for a run, but once off the leash...I could hear them, but couldn't see them. It spooked me. Everything was the same color. I started to get a sense of vertigo. It was all I could do to not high tail it immediately for my car. I suppose having recently watched the movie "The Fog" made me even jumpier in this cloud. I kept waiting for some 'thing' to get me. I didn't like the feeling at all. It really creeped me out.

Plus it gave me really bad hair.

I say, "Either warm up, and stay that way, or get cold again and snow, damnit!" This in between stuff is leaving me in a foul mood. Snappy. Short.

I don't like it. Not one bit.

But yesterday morning was different. It even sounded different. There was no rain on the skylights, but the beat of a lone woodpecker in the distance. I opened my eyes and saw the faint orange glow on the horizon.

Could it be? Is that the sun? Maybe January Gray has moved on to another temporary home.

Alas, it was just a tease. A mere 5 hours of sunshine to remind me what I'm missing. This morning when I awoke I looked up to see that once again it was raining. The drops were clinging to the skylight in the early morning light. The gray had returned. January Gray. Doppler radar informs me that it's going to continue to rain with the temperatures reaching 50 by Sunday. Ugh.

Looking out my window I see the remains of the snowman next door. His head has rolled off and fallen to the ground. His body is tilting at a severe angle, his scarf frozen to the grass beside him. He obviously doesn't much like this weather either. He's not as perky as he was a week ago.

I feel like him today. We can commiserate, he and I.
I cleared my schedule. I'm not leaving the house.
I'm grabbing my laptop and heading back to bed. No real need to go out. No work that can't be done another time. I'm staying in.

It's just too yucky. Even for an optimist like me.

I'll deal with everything...another day. Just not today.
Perhaps when the sun is out once again?

One can only hope...


  1. Ah, I know how you feel... we still have some snow clinging to the edges of roofs and to the sides of streets in Prague; nonetheless, I've been in the mood for a tropical summer themed party for days now (I've been trying to sell the idea to my many friends with upcoming birthdays, I'll see what that yields).

    Also, I find that if you look through photos from your summer holiday trips or at a nice, summery film, it actually helps a great lot. And if not, I suggest having a nice cup of hot chocolate (marshmallows and everything) in bed... Until spring comes again. :o)

    By the way, THANK YOU for the lovely comment on my last post - your praise makes me feel very, very proud. :o)

  2. What you call January Gray, we here in Southern California, for dramatic effect, call STORM WATCH 2010! 5 straight days of rain and our whole world is turned upside down. It's rather funny actually. Cuddle up, stay warm and have a great day, Nancy.

  3. We had a lot of snow over here in the UK too. I loved it at first then quickly started to loathe it as it just made everything so awkward. And then when the snow was on it's merry way it was replaced by horrible, grey SLUSH! I don't know about you, but unless it's slush as in a Slush Puppy then I'm really not a fan.

    Here's to sun and spring!

    Kate x

  4. Nance, (hope I can call you that!) this was so beautifully written. It's so easy to understand your vertigo with the opposing delight of a cold crisp day and the dreary sadness of the rain.

    Your writing is pure poetry. Thank you for warming up another rainy day.

  5. THe Scorpio in me loves the ominous backdrop, the little girl in me wants the sunshine, the writer in me can't stop typing...

  6. I know exactly what you mean! I haven't felt like doing anything since the holidays have ended. Who wants to be out when it's dark and grey and just...ugh.

    I grew up in Florida, so think I have some form of SAD. Any day it is sunny and remotely warm I will have my lunch outside. Come on spring!

    Be glad you can stay in!

  7. I'm HIGHLY affected by my environment, be it weather or even food. I can't control the weather (yet), but it feels good to have a mastery over the foods that change my moods.

  8. oh no! Mr. Snowman lost his head? A truly awful sign, I'd think. You're not going to want to hear this, but it is cool and sunny and lovely here. Beautiful, actually. *almost* spring.

  9. I get a winter funk mostly because of the gray skies. It's too much with the cold. Bleak.

  10. Here in NC we have been teased by the sun as well. We had one beautiful sunny day this past week and then it was replaced by rain then ice. I'm with you on Mother Nature picking one or the other. I need some bright blue sky in my life!

  11. I know exactly how you feel. We had sun for a brief moment yesterday, too. And now it's back to cloudy and grey. Maybe I'll follow your lead and curl up in side with a cup of coffee (or a dirty martini)


  12. lets run away? want to? it's 80 degrees SOMEWHERE! i mean, why shouldn't we go find us a little sunshine...that Ohio is so, so very much lacking these days.


    I feel ya on this one.

    I really do.


  13. My dear, you need to make a trip to south Florida. We have plenty of sunshine for everyone!

  14. oh! the sun was out here too yesterday, and I was feeling so happy!

  15. Hey Nancy, we had the first truly grey day I can remember just last week. I was shocked by it. Bright enough skies, but cloudy at the same time, and relentlessly rainy and grey, like in the movie Se7en? Grey like it had been dipped in ink, killing all the colours and my mood. Give me beautiful snow any day. Indigo

  16. Ok, Scarlet, think about it tomorrow. Glad you didn't lose your head like the snowman. Hope you get to enjoy some sunshine soon!

  17. it's a comfortable 30 degrees celcius here (mid summer) and our winter skies are usually bright blue. wanna come to sunny QLD? ...yeah I know, wicked.
    when in high school in the early 80's two english classes were crammed into the library av room at the end of term to watch "the Fog" I was up the back and had screamed 3 times in the first ten minutes. I hate the suspense and creepy music combo. one of hte teachers came over to me and 'suggested' that i might like to spend the period in the Library instead. I beat a hasty retreat out of the av room to the safety of the library next door. i still can't watch that movie 25 years later.

  18. Oh boy, do I feel you!
    Martha's Vineyard January to April is the grayest place I've ever seen. Everything is even toned gray. No color unless the damned sun comes out. Yesterday it did and it lifted everyone's spirits. Amazing. Today the gray was back. I'm with you; I worked in PJ's all day. I'm as gray as the weather...

  19. We got blessed with one day also. The weatherman said it would get up to the 80's. That was the chilliest 80's ever!

  20. Hey, this sounds familiar. I am confident, however,that my lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities are a direct result of managing my band of idiots versus anything weather related.

    Would you be interested in participating in a case study? I will remotely transfer all of my authority and Executive powers to you for 2 days. I'm sure once you relinquish those duties back, you will feel much better. Just the simple joy of leaving would be uplifting.

  21. you know, you and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to winter. I think we're probably the only two people on this planet who actually look forward to winter.

    For me, the grey, rainy, damp, and cold days are something I love. I know this sounds very weird, but these type days actually give me more energy and at the same time, make me feel more peaceful. It's the constant sunshine and heat of summer that depresses me.

    (didn't I tell you I was weird?)

    BTW, I too just recently watched the movie The Fog. Wasn't it great? I love scary movies.

  22. We get fog and more fog here. I like it!

  23. I also get really down after a long spell of gray weather. Hopefully you'll have your nice sunny crisp winter back soon. Hey, if you want a treat in sunny pics, stop by my blog since I've just returned from a work trip to Mexico. I know, you probably want to shoot me. It was gorgeous there, sun shining like summer. But truthfully, I would rather have seasons than summer year round.

  24. That's one of the things I love most about having swapped hemispheres. January and the calendar year now begin with sunshine and heat, not a blanket of grey.

  25. the view out my window looks very similar - UGH! Just got back from a place where I don't think gray days exist - and now back to this :-(

    Hang in there!

  26. Sounds like a day to curl up with hot chocolate and a good book.

  27. I hear ya, sista! Usually it's sunny and warm here in Arizona - that's the reason we winter here. But this past week it rained, and rained, and oh, did I say that IT RAINED? Buckets of rain. Pretty unusual for this time of year. Very bleak. Today the sun is shining - it's a cool 50 degrees, but, THE SUN IS SHINING! YIPEE!

    Hope you get sunshine soon!

  28. I feel your pain. I need a beach, sun and bright blue skies.

  29. I'm here getting caught up on my blog reading!!! AAnd I'll sing you the song my sister would at a time like this...

    The sun will come out tomorrow....

  30. Oh I know how you feel ...this weather is terrible. As I am writing this the wind is blowing..I am getting worried!!

  31. Just wanted to let you know you have an award waiting for you over at my place.

  32. And by the way, I hope it was the 1980 version of THE FOG. My favourite movie. I even took a fanboy trip round Marin County in California to visit as many of the locations as I could. It really is eerie out at the lighthouse!

  33. We have so many grey days here that one sunny one makes everyone enter denial mode and pretend the grey ones never existed! It can be amazing how the mood of the parents in the schoolyard can lift when the same is done by the clouds.

  34. You've totally captured the very essence of this time of year, Nancy.

    I can totally relate to I'm sure most of the country can. I call it "seeing in black & white"...I've completely forgotten what color looks like.
    Even the green of the grass seems muted and worn out...

    Just think...only about 8 more weeks to go!

  35. Yes, yes, yes! It's been nothing but rainy, super-foggy, gray, crappy awful here for about 10 days. Seems like forever, though. I'm really sun-hungry! Is there any hope? --not in OUR forecast! Drat!

  36. I'm totally with you. I need sunlight to function properly. This crappy gray winter is depressing. Maybe I should invest in one of those sun panel thingies.


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