We’re having snow today, a decent storm that may or may not close schools. I haven’t ventured outside yet, but it looks to be around four inches or so. A plow just came down our street, which now looks pretty clear, as does the main road. So, although five districts in our county are currently closed, and two are on a two-hour delay, I think we’ll be ‘business as usual’ today.
It’s been a week of snow, a little each day. There’s an old phrase we learned as kids, “March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb.” It seems pretty accurate in a general way. Or, rather, it did when I lived downstate. Up here, where we’ve been for ten years now (holy crap, where did the time go?), March starts later and lasts longer. Lion weather doesn’t usually start up here until the middle of the month, and lamb weather begins closer to the end of April, even the beginning of May. And even though Punxsatawny Phil claims spring should be starting right about now, things don’t work quite the same way in central New York.
Didn’t everyone have one of these?
Lately, I’ve been kicking myself over not keeping a journal. I don’t know if this is something all kids go through, or if it was a particular fad back in the *harrumph* when I was a kid, but I recall a time when diaries were the ‘in’ thing. My brother, my sister and I all got diaries one Christmas, and it WAS SO COOL!You know the kind: faux leather cover, ‘My Diary’ stamped on the front in gold, little leather strap, flimsy lock, flimsier key attached with a red string. Inside, lined pages (undated, I think) waiting to be filled with important thoughts, observations, or…nothing. As a seven or eight-year-old, or whatever I was, I lacked the drive and discipline to keep a diary. I vaguely remember making brotherly attempts to break into my sister’s diary, but I don’t think we succeeded. I think we successfully stole it once or twice, but never actually broke into it. Maybe we had too much respect for her. I’d like to believe that, though it’s more likely we feared the wrath of Mom, should she get involved.
Somewhere along the line, diaries became things for girls. Guys didn’t keep diaries. There was something…unmanly…about it. Diaries were out, but journals? Those were okay. Don’t ask me why. The word implies something more clinical, less personal. Journals are about recording observations and facts, not feelings. Lewis and Clark kept journals. Theodore Roosevelt kept a journal. Many of the great scientists kept journals. Journals were okay, for guys. Diaries were out.
I’ve made a few stabs over the years at keeping journals; it appeals to the part of me that admires the great naturalist-artist of the 18thcentury, men like Audubon and Fuertes and Darwin. I never keep up with it, though. I’ll get a day or two into it, and then forget. I started again last week, with a short paragraph noting the weather. Snow and cold. Fifteen wild turkeys in the field. That sort of thing. It can be handy if you keep up with it. Some years down the road, when I’m old and cranky and want to prove definitively that, “This winter ain’t nothing! You ought to have been around back in ’15!” I’ll be able to find the journal and go through it and see what the winter of ’15 was really like. And who knows? Maybe it can be something that can help write a book.
Do you keep a journal or diary? Have you ever used it in your writing?