in my humble opinion

What a difference a day makes

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 2/3/21

It’s Monday, as I write this, and it’s snowing out there. I mean really, really snowing. Wasn’t it just last week that I was extolling the power of positive thinking and crowing …

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in my humble opinion

What a difference a day makes

Posted

It’s Monday, as I write this, and it’s snowing out there. I mean really, really snowing. Wasn’t it just last week that I was extolling the power of positive thinking and crowing about my newfound ability to embrace winter and the joys of living alone with my dog in the middle of the woods? I think it was. And yet, here I sit, sullenly staring at my computer screen, grumbling about when the roads will get plowed and whining that I’m “all alone here in the middle of the woods!”

“Who’s gonna help me shovel?” I wailed in the general direction of the dog. “No one, I tell you. Nobody, that’s who!” Dharma looked at me quizzically and shifted her attention to the marrow bone in her comfy, cozy fleece-lined doggy bed. “Boy, oh boy,” I continued to moan. “What a difference a day makes.”

Checking my inbox, I found an email from River Reporter reader Kate Sykes Bowers, who was apparently so intrigued by my failed attempt at making multi-colored ice balls in the last issue, that she and her family tried it themselves, with far greater success than I. “We had fun,” she declared, attaching a photo. Bowers one, Fox zero. I bet they’re enjoying the fresh snowfall, too. Grumble, grumble.

In fact, there were more than a few messages about last week’s deep-freeze adventures, some with suggestions for other wintry DIY projects. Another reader sent me how-to instructions from a clever (IMHO) Facebook page called “Coffee. Mom. Repeat.” for an “educational” science experiment “snow volcano” that requires baking soda, vinegar, food coloring (uh oh) and, of course, snow—lots of snow. “Got plenty of that,” I sneered, looking out the window. I sent the recipe to Kate and struggled to recall what my shrink had said about “turning my frown upside down.”

 “He’s a jerk,” I muttered. What a difference a day makes.

Another reader sent me an image she created of what I’m calling “snow ghosts,” which looks fairly easy to replicate. The ingredients are quite simple: Mounds of snow and glow sticks. That’s right, I have glow sticks in the house. Don’t you? “Make big snow lumps,” the image simply states. “Insert glow sticks for eyes and freak the neighbors out.”

It just so happens that my neighbors are away and I’m taking care of their cat while they’re in the sunshine state, doing whatever it is that people do in Florida during the winter months. I remember that my grandparents played shuffleboard and ate dinner at four o’clock in the afternoon when they moved down south. Perhaps that’s what my neighbors are doing while I pet their cat, play with their cat, feed their cat and clean their cat’s litter box, dragging myself over to their house twice a day to make sure that their cat is happy and doesn’t feel isolated while it snows and snows and snows. Bitter, party of one? Your table is ready.

Where was I? Oh, right. It’s still snowing. Admittedly, it’s beautiful. In a “gee, it’s pretty if you don’t have to take your dog out four times a day and then go next door to deal with the neighbor’s cat” kind of way. There wasn’t much snow last night (my yardstick topped out at three inches) but the weatherman promised we’d wake up to more, and here we are. I checked the accumulation this morning: It’s up to seven inches, but “that’s nothin’” I said to the cat next door, who proceeded to bite the hand that feeds him.

Truth be told, Dharma loves romping in the snow and I love seeing her happy, so there’s that. I suppose if I take the camera on one of my many excursions today, it’s dimly possible that I might not hate my life quite as much as I do at this very moment. Remember childhood and being delighted at the notion of a “snow day” with no responsibilities and nowhere to go? Uh huh. I may have nowhere to go, but that’s been the case for close to a year now, so the novelty has worn thin. Additionally, I’m not a kid and I have plenty of responsibilities, so the thrill of a snow day has lost its sheen. Wah, wah, wah.

Clearly, it’s time to get out the proverbial mood swing and take it for a ride. I guess I’ll go pet the cat next door, band-aids in hand, camera slung around my neck, and take a few photos of the picture-postcard scenic winter wonderland that is Camp Fox and the Upper Delaware River region.

 “Sure is peaceful, right girl?” I said to the dog, who excitedly ran to the door in response to the jingle of her leash. Allegedly, the snow will continue for a while, so I should probably slip into an attitude adjustment and go with the flow. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be happy and perky and overjoyed to wake up to more snow. What a difference a day makes... right?

Fun Fact: “What a Difference a Day Makes” is a popular song originally written in Spanish by María Grever, a Mexican songwriter, in 1934 with the title “Cuando vuelva a tu lado” (“When I Return to Your Side”). The song is also known in English as “What a Difference a Day Makes”, as popularized by Dinah Washington.

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