The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday

Oh! Where Do Fairies Hide Their Heads?
By Thomas Haynes Bayly

OH! where do fairies hide their heads
   When snow lies on the hills,
When frost has spoil’d their mossy beds,
   And crystalliz’d their rills?
Beneath the moon they cannot trip
   In circles o’er the plain;
And draughts of dew they cannot sip
   Till green leaves come again.

Perhaps, in small, blue diving-bells,
   They plunge beneath the waves,
Inhabiting the wreathed shells
   That lie in coral caves;
Perhaps, in red Vesuvius,
   Carousals they maintain;
And cheer their little spirits thus,
   Till green leaves come again.

When they return there will be mirth,
   And music in the air,
And fairy wings upon the earth,
   And mischief everywhere.
The maids, to keep the elves aloof,
   Will bar the doors in vain;
No key-hole will be fairy-proof,
   When green leaves come again.


Yesterday's snow continued until well past noon today, causing the cancellation of Hebrew school and our older son's planned meeting with the kids with whom he is working on his science project, so we stayed close to home for shoveling, snow forts and enjoying the scenery. Although it snowed for hours, the temperature hovered slightly above freezing, so there were icicles melting and refreezing in spectacular patterns along the upper branches of trees and on the deck furniture. Supposedly we got about two inches of snow, but it looked like more at first as it was the thick, fluffy kind, and then later looked like less as it was falling onto thin layers of ice that it cracked into puddles. Later we had dinner with my parents, who pulled one of their usual passive-agressive bullshit routines.

My mother is flying to my sister's a week from Wednesday, and apparently has decided to take an 11 a.m. plane. She needs a ride to the airport (which means walking her in and helping her with all the excess crap she always brings, including more presents than my sister's kids want or need -- we both have an ongoing thing with my mother about the fact that she gives our kids gifts every single time she sees them, to the point where my younger son -- who's as much a pack rat as his parents -- can barely walk through his room, and she sees him at least once a week). My father asked ME to do HIM a favor and drive her to the airport, because my mother will NEVER risk being the bad guy by saying that SHE needs something (and also my mother sometimes turns me down when I request help with my kids because she has manicure appointments, but if my sister asks her to go to New York for a week while SHE is in the Bahamas with her husband, my mother goes, because it's her big chance to see her granddaughters).

Now, Wednesday afternoons tend to be a hectic around here for a whole host of reasons, and Wednesday lunchtimes are pretty consistently my time with my friends -- the only chance I have to chill in the middle of the week because Thursday is an early morning and an absolutely insane carpool day; it's not like I'm my mother and get a manicure every Tuesday, etc. so it's not like I routinely would blow her off in the middle of the week. Taking her to the airport will pretty much take up all my time from the time the kids are off until I have to get home for the afternoon rush, and I'll have to break plans I already have with people. Plus I'll have to work in the evening without having had any down time during the day.

I told my father (since he's the one who asked) that I had plans, and he gave me the whole Jewish guilt "Oh, fine, I'll find someone else to do it" as if, of course, my schedule should be at their disposal because god knows whatever else I might be doing is worthless in their eyes, since I am neither an attorney nor a good housekeeper. Now, I am annoyed at my father, but I am much more angry at my mother, because this is a classic example of how she operates. She needs a ride to the airport. She let my father launch the discussion; she stayed TOTALLY SILENT when I said it's the one day that I had plans that week; she didn't say a word when my father started in with the guilt routine, though she'll often intercede to be the "good guy" on behalf of one of my kids even when my kid is totally in the wrong, thus making my father blow up at her; and I didn't even get a fucking thank you from her when I said fuck it, fine.

The kicker is that my husband is so used to them acting this way that he couldn't even figure out why I was so pissed off that I didn't say two words while we were at their house. He figured that if I was really, REALLY upset, I would have had the argument with my father and allowed him to yell and my mother to do her tearful poor me routine in front of my children, which is something I try to avoid except when it's a matter of really enormous importance, which apparently my schedule must not be even to me. Arrrrgh.

We came home and watched Pompeii: The Last Day on the Discovery Channel with the kids, who stayed up late since their school start is delayed two hours tomorrow (causing consternation for me as I have a 10:30 dentist appointment and am not sure how I can be there and at an elementary school at the same time). We had taken the kids to see the exhibit on the Stabiae excavation at the Smithsonian last summer, so they knew something about the eruption of Vesuvius, and while I sometimes get annoyed with historical reenactments in a history or science show, they were completely engrossed, so I guess in this case it was a good thing (though now they are a little worried about visiting Seattle when Mt. Rainier might be active, heh). Little of the information was new to me except the details on how the people in Herculaneum died, and I probably could have done just as well without knowing. I liked the computer visualizations of what it would look like if Vesuvius erupted now, and some of the details on the excavations, though I wish there had been more archaeology and less speculation on why they found the people as they found them -- the how and why of the speculation. Still, it made for a pretty good "story" though I couldn't help imagining the one we're undoubtedly going to get on the tsunami, very similar in structure.

Anyway, sorry about the rant and now I am very tired and have not looked at my friends list for two days...I have no real excuse today, as other than writing two articles I spent most of my time around the house, taking pictures of the kids in the snow, counting icicles and posting the fic I posted earlier because the next part is nudging me to write it and it's very different in tone and I just wanted this bit out there so I had some idea whether it would even float. Any time I have posted a multi-parter, the amount of feedback has dropped off dramatically from section to section, until I felt like only ten people were following it down the line, and from that standpoint as well as being sure HP:HBP is going to wipe out canon as I know and imagine it, I really don't want to start anything that goes on and on. I want a clear sense of why I am writing the chapters I'm writing and how I could curb them if necessary. Okay, enough babble, and hope everyone has had a great weekend without petty annoyances!

Trees in front of our house covered with snow and ice in the late afternoon sunshine.

This is what the branches looked like around 10 a.m. before the sun came out, while the snow was still falling in fine powder.

Before the sun, the snow stuck to the cedar shakes on the side of the roof in lovely cotton-ball puffs.

The snow clung more tenaciously to the evergreens than the deciduous branches when it started to melt.

My children built the Two Towers in the back yard. Sort of.

The cats were watching apaulled outside shoveling between the vans, but when they realized that I was about to take their picture of course they had to turn around and pose.

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