Winter Has Come

“Winter is coming,” the standard admonition from the recent Game of Thrones series, has become rather pervasive. In fact, in adapting the script of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (see All the World’s a Stage) the troupe to which I belong, The Merry Tricksters, changed a reference my character makes from a popular soap opera to Game of Thrones. As a result, I’ve been saying “Winter is coming” a lot lately.

And now, it’s here. Samhain, All Saint’s Day, the feast of Saint Marcel (protector from vampires—I do love that little irony) all today, the first day of winter according to the Celtic reckoning (see Samhain Welcomes Winter). While not as all-encompassing as the winter warned against in the series, it seems winter has come, to our homestead at least. It’s less about the season’s most obvious weather feature, snow, than it is about a certain feel in the air.

Zeiger Family Homestead November 1, 2019

Such a winter’s day. No snow, but it must be on the way…. (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

We performed the play last Wednesday as an open dress rehearsal, to about 13 people, which was pretty funny, if you’ve ever seen the play and know what happens in it. We managed pretty well with the audience participation segment. On Halloween, which we had off, nominally, we did two radio interviews, one on the morning arts segment at our local station, KHNS, with my two co-stars and our director (I stayed home in the morning) and again in the afternoon on my friend, Angie’s, show. We open tonight, and perform it again Saturday at 7:00 p.m., and finally, on a Sunday matinee at 4:00 p.m. Before tonight’s 8:00 p.m. curtain, we’ll do the rounds in costume on Haines’s First Friday. That will be interesting! Not sure what will happen, as we’ll likely wing it, but we’ll have fun at least.

And then, I can raise my head and look around, and winter will be upon us. As much as I’m enjoying the play, I eagerly anticipate returning to “normal” life. I have a neglected chore list, a growing book list, and many other things to look forward to. Chief among those, the holiday season. While we had a nice, quiet family party in town with Aly at her current house/dog-sitting gig, complete with a few trick-or-treaters, I feel like I missed out a little on Halloween. That’s despite a newly discovered excuse to extend the season.

Cherry tree in late autumn/early winter

Our cherry tree is usually a riot of autumn yellow, but a moose visit recently cut that way back, literally. I think it’s significant that my camera insisted that I raise the flash for this mid-morning photo (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

A podcast I listen to mentioned Hallowtide, or All Hallowtide, the Halloween season that extends the celebration from Halloween night to All Soul’s Day, November 2nd. We’ve always kind of done this, but now we’re going for it full throttle. Then comes Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We’re in the holiday zone for sure.

I look forward to many quiet winter evenings in front of the fire. If I could just finish filling the woodshed . . . .

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