Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Longest Night of the Year

Today was the winter solstice. To better explain the specific, accurate details of this annual event, we shall turn our attention to SnootyProfessorMeteorologistFussyPants.

Take it away, Snoot:

“The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word solstice, which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, “sun” and -stitium, “a stoppage.” Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.”

What is this “sun” he speaks of? I’ve heard of it….even remember seeing such a spectacle whilst vacationing in sunny Florida…but I was unaware of its existence so very close to home. Whatever this bright orb may be, there was none of it in my neck of the woods today.

I also abandoned my earlier suggestion of attempting to balance the egg on its head outside…for two reasons:

  1. The precise time of winter solstice this year was at 7:04am this morning. Although I (generally) love you people, I love sleeping a heck of a lot more.
  2. I couldn’t find my front step if my life depended on it. All you’d see is a hole in the snow where my egg entered…and then I’d be all grumpy trying to find it, ‘cause of the sleep deprivation and all.

Doesn’t “solstice” sound like something one should do at a spa? Or maybe with the Dalai Lama? Or maybe it sounds more like a serious internal injury…you know, where someone on Grey’s Anatomy would yell “She’s crashing! We’ve got a ruptured solstice and there’s internal bleeding! Get the cart and schedule the O.R. for an immediate solsticejuvinationectomy…STAT!!!”

But, I digress.

So. If I’m understanding this correctly, the days will be getting longer from here on out. According to The National Weather Service, tomorrow will be 4 seconds longer than today.
It’s not much, but I guess it’s a start.

We had some extremely wicked winds here last night (Saturday)…I think I finally understand the term “howling winds”. The wail of the winds woke me around 4am and as I listened, I became more and more alert as my brain slowly began to process what was happening. It went like this:

  • Yikes. That’s some high wind out there. I’ll bet we’re gonna lose power.
  • We have a well…this means there’ll be no water. I should get up and fill the tub whilst we still have power. I’ll do that in a few minutes.
  • Huh. If we lose power, we also won’t have any heat. No worries…we’ll just turn on our electric blank….oh, wait…never mind. I’ll have to build a fire to keep us warm.
  • I don’t think there’s much firewood left in the garage. I think the woodpile is sitting underneath 15” of snow…I wonder if it’ll still burn…(Falls back to sleep)

In the end, we never lost power. It’s just as well…as getting firewood would require my going near the stairs…and, frankly…I’d rather NOT.

Anonymous said...

Winter...sigh...we'll get through it somehow.

kathryn said...

Yes, we will survive...but we'll whine all the way...

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