Monday, October 26th, Halloween arrived early in Albuquerque in the form of cold, wet white apparitions swirling around my house, possessing the thermometer and forcing temperatures down to record lows in the 20s. This is a case of boo meets brrr, and is very unusual in Albuquerque where I typically wait until November 1st to switch from air conditioner to heater. We had been experiencing record highs the week before and my Zinnias, Purslane, and Impatiens were all in full bloom on Sunday the 25th. I awoke the 27th to plants that had died from exposure to the frightening weather ordeal. Some were stiff and drained of all color while others were mushy, limp and lifeless. They were all buried under the approximately eight inches of snow that covered my yard.
I hoped the hose to my swamp cooler (New Mexico air conditioner) would not freeze. There was no way I would ask someone to climb onto my metal roof to winterize my unit until the snow was gone and the roof was dry. Happily (happy, happy, happy), I have a small gas fireplace in my sunroom that I know how to activate. I put on two pairs of socks, a couple of sweaters, and when she would let me a cat on my lap. Cinnamon and I camped out in the living room next to the sunroom and all was well and moderately warm.
When I went out to sweep the snow off of the porch and patio I did not fear, as I had when mowing the lawn the week before, being drained of blood by vampire mosquitoes and left in a lifeless heap on the ground ready for the formaldehyde station of the embalming suite (a little Halloween imagery thrown in there). Yes, even in a record-shattering snow storm, life is good (except for mosquitoes).
This year Fall was cut short and Winter arrived in a FLINCH (once while traveling with my kids, my son Zach asked, “When will we get there?” to which daughter Jessica cheerfully replied, “We’ll be there in a flinch.”). The snow is off of the roof and the hose to the A/C is disconnected. The heater is hooked up and blaring. I don’t expect Trick-or-Treaters tomorrow. I hope they will be home, warm, safe and sound, eating homemade cookies and caramel apples (things they shouldn’t eat when obtained from strangers). I’ve had my share of unexpected scary encounters this October.