Sunday, January 11, 2004

More blogs of winters past.

January 16, 2001.

Had yesterday off. That's the first time anyone's ever given me MLK Day off, and I spent most of it at home, entertaining Lilly, or being entertained. She is easily amused. For instance, spinning coins on a flat surface is a great entertainment for her. Lately, she's learned to do this herself. Also, often when I find myself horizontal in some way -- on the couch, say -- she finds me, and conducts a physics experiment to see what happens when her mass, about 16 kilos these days, acquires enough kinetic energy to wallop into my stomach, which has a considerable mass of its own.

December was an incredibly snowy month, especially the last three weeks of it. As incredibly, it has hardly snowed at all in January. Temps have been just above freezing much of the time, so the mass of snow is slowly melting. Just yesterday I noticed that our sturdy iron table in the back yard isn't covered with any snow now. At New Year's, it had a least a foot and a half. And I can see patches of muddy, soddy-looking ground here and there, the first earth that’s been visible since about December 12. All this can mean only one thing: another major snow storm is coming. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the next day, but someday, and someday soon…

We are on the verge of having five living former presidents again, come Saturday. This has happened only twice in U.S. history (and I'm not counting Jefferson Davis, Sam Houston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Sanford Dole or any other sorts of former presidents who happened to be Americans). Anyway, there were five from Clinton's first inauguration to Nixon's death. That's the easy one. The other such time was after Lincoln's inauguration -- Van Buren, Tyler, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan were all sit alive, but it didn't last, since Van Buren and Tyler both died in 1862. Tyler's passing, I've read, went officially unnoted by the United States, since he had been elected a member of the Confederate Congress, and only in 1911 was any money allocated by the U.S. Congress for a memorial to him.


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