Who forgot to fly south for the winter?

Within a week of arriving here in August, we bought me a sewing machine. It has been well used over the past months, enabling me to make cushions, hangings, etc to decorate the apartment, do some basic mending, including Nick’s backpack, and providing me with entertainment as I have made a number of quilts and some hats. When I bought it, the man assured me it was a sturdy and reliable machine and was what “the ladies bought to take down to Florida with them for the winter”.

Well, by now, anyone who doesn’t have good reason (such as a job or children in school) to still be in Indiana , has packed their bags, their swimming togs, and their sewing machines, and headed off to Florida to avoid the cold and misery here. Unfortunately for the geese who live on the pond across from our apartments, they either forgot to fly south or have lost their Florida maps, and we have been quite intrigued watching them wander across the icy waste that was once their swimming hole. It will be a while before they get their next swim, I think!!

We also have not flown south, as we are still new enough at all this fluffy white stuff to think of it as wonderful fun. It is certainly cold, but the compensation for that discomfort is that it is absolutely beautiful. I am still struck by how lucky we were to actually get a white Christmas, as since Boxing Day, there really has been not been any more snow here until last night. Different parts of the States have been getting more than their fair share, but Indiana is still well below average in terms of snowfall for the season. The answer to my question last week about inches of snow and inches of rain, is : It all depends. The soft fluffy stuff we had a Christmas would take many inches to equate to an inch of rain, but this morning’s wetter stickier falls would probably take a lot less. Robert has advised me that the amount can vary from about 1 is to 10 to 1 is to 30. Snow falling is very much lighter than rain and the soft brushes of flakes on your cheek are delightful. They sting if they get in your eyes though.

Our New Year started quietly. Up until a couple of days before New Year, we had nothing planned at all, but Peg and Dave rescued us from the ignominy of welcoming the new year alone, by inviting us to come over to their place to watch a video, eat nachos and work on Peg’s Christmas gift, a jigsaw puzzle. They had helped us with our Aussie one for Christmas and thought we might return the favour. We started our celebrations early (9am here, New Year’s Eve midnight in Australia) by telephoning our friends in Toowoomba who were gathered to welcome the New Year at Steins’. We chatted with them all and then enjoyed their rousing rendition of “Advance Australia Fair”. We finished off the last of the bread that Nick had baked for us when he was here, and then prepared for our evening’s activities. My friend Sue rang to see if we would like to come over there for the evening. We declined on the basis of our prior commitment, but as Sue was offering egg nog, something I hadn’t tried thus far (and also as she is a good friend), we suggested we might call in there briefly before we drove to the Ertmers.

So it was. We had a quick egg nog with Sue and Kent, and then headed over to Peg and Dave’s who had hired the video, “The Dish”. We had seen it before, but really enjoyed watching it again. It made us homesick to see the gum trees and hear the old familiar accents. We translated as necessary for Peg and Dave and munched the old year away. We didn’t make much progress with the puzzle.

The main feature of the evening was the midnight concert by their young son, Scott (aged 12). He plays drums and he and his electric guitar playing friend, Patrick, decided they would help the neighbours welcome 2002 by playing (a few bars of) their music on their back patio. A few minutes before midnight, Dave helped them carry their gear out into the below freezing night air. I watched admiringly from the warmth of their lounge room. At midnight, they broke loose and were preparing to make a hasty retreat when a group of girls from a nearby house came out to dance to the music. Now, when you get an adoring and appreciative audience like that, you can’t knock it back, so they continued for quite some time. Finally the girls succumbed to the cold of the evening rather than the coolness of these guys and went back to their party. Scott and Patrick staggered back inside shivering but smiling. We went home not long after that to snuggle into our warm bed and prepare for the rest of 2002.

This is a good time of year to sort out your CD collection or polish the silver – anything to stay inside and warm. However, we only have 2 CDs and no silver, so yesterday we decided we would take another weekend ramble and drove across to visit the town of Kokomo. It was not a very exciting outing. The beautiful old Victorian museum was closed for January and the shops were the same as we could have found in Lafayette. Still, that is one more part of Indiana that we can say we have been to, and it was nice to get out and about even a bit.

If it doesn’t warm up soon, I might have to pack up my gear and head down to Florida, myself. I’ve got the sewing machine for it!

Love to all. Try to stay cool and fire-free.

Peter has suggested the question for this week. There is a song about Kokomo. What is it and who sang it? The clue is, after visiting there, I don’t think it’s about Kokomo, Indiana.