There is Something About Winter. Our Message to Gracey after 10 Months

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series Messages to Gracey







There is Something About Winter

Crow in winter

There is something about winter. The silence that follows a blanket of  newly fallen snow.  The bitter wind lending an excuse to remain inside, in solitude. Being still is easy when the world is frozen. But time doesn’t freeze nor even slow down, it just seems that way and is why I welcome winter and hate to bid her farewell.

Cardinal in snowEven to this long, harsh  season, my heart is reluctant to let go.  No more waking up to a tree branch delicately coated with white, of bright red cardinals unable to hide in the bushes and to deer tracks through the yard. No more -20 and overly excited weather reports predicting record cold with a hint of doom and gloom.  No more moments to stand quietly watching the snow collect on the deck.  No more excuses for putting on my pajamas in the early evening and tucking in under a heated blanket and escaping into a  good book.

Walking in Winter in Swapokmund

The boardwalk in Swapokmund during wintertime

Swapokmund in Wintertime

This morning I reminisced  about walking  on the boardwalk in Swapokmund in wintertime.  I remember  how cold we were covered in mist from the Atlantic’s crashing waves.   The off season felt more like a ghost town than a vacation destination. All the empty houses and not another soul walking.  Even our kindly innkeepers couldn’t help but wonder why we were there and without a rental car.

We ducked into the Western Saloon Restaurant, and the hot soup made the obvious stares from the locals tolerable.

Winter pier in Swapokmund

The pier in Swapokmund

The next day we tried  to visit  a few attractions but found them padlocked for the season.  We walked along the Atlantic towards the pier with plans to dine at the Jetty, but after a frigid and precarious walk out to the end of the pier with waves crashing and splashing at our feet, it too was closed and not to reopen for a few hours.  We were so chilled we took refuge on the outside deck of The Tug and a sympathetic  waiter who tried to light a portable heater but the wind won the fight.  We  were shown mercy and escorted inside to a small table where it was warm and cozy and the food was delicious.  We decided to splurge and take a taxi back to our accommodations.

I don’t think I’ve ever been that cold.

And then I wondered what made me think about Namibia this second to last day of winter.  Perhaps because the stop in Swapokmund was near the end of the trip and I was missing you and your dad.  Just the same way I am missing you now.

There is something about winter and the lure of melancholia that agreed with me this season.   The long winter gave me time to grieve and to reflect on life and where to go from here.  For that I am grateful.

Spring Arrives in Two Days

Annie and Eddie wait for spring

Spring will officially be here in two days.   Annie and Eddie are ready and waiting.  Eddie especially loves being in your sun room.  I see the remains of the tomato plant reminding me I didn’t properly clean up the deck for the winter.  There is even a half bag of  potting soil still propped up on the steps.  Sorrow took over and prevented us from doing even some of the menial tasks.

Annie and GraceySometimes when I see Annie from the right side, I am taken aback by how much she reminds me of you.  But from the left side, she is all Annie.  The kittens are nearly grown now and they are good company.  Annie seems to know when I feel especially sad.  She comes up and gives me a nose tap and curls up really tight in the crook of my neck.  Then she purrs her little heart out.  Yesterday was 10 months since we lost you.

It is warmer today.  I am getting ready to go feed the birds.  I like to think  you are with me.

Series NavigationBlue Christmas Without You Our Message to GraceyOur Message to Gracey After One Year

Never Miss an Update or Giveaway!

* indicates required


  1. purrs and hugs from us to you

  2. Ingrid King says

    What a bittersweet post. I’ve always found that the change of seasons is difficult when you’re mourning a loss – all those “firsts” without Gracey. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year. Hugs to you as you go into yet another season without Gracey.

  3. Tears here too. So heartwarming. You will always have Gracey in your heart. And she touched our hearts too.
    Sue B

  4. Such a good post. I sent you a tweet that a particular pic of Annie looked a bit like Gracey on the one side. (love)

  5. Janet Collins says

    I too, am in tears again, as I reflect on the beautiful relationship you and your husband shared with her…wonderful tribute in heartfelt emotion and reflection of this last year…grateful Gracey made it possible to meet some of the kindest people I know…Thank you, Gracey, Matisse, and Maggie, for gifts that keep on giving…always with us, much love, xoxox

  6. Margaret Justice says

    Oh, Joanne….I am in tears again. So beautifully worded and written. I, too, hate to see winter go for most of the same reasons you do. Gracey will forever be in your heart just as Rusty, the Irish Setter I grew up with, is still in mine. All of my fur babies own a piece of my heart including the blind raccoon I had the pleasure of caring for before she disappeared. I love the solitude of a walk in slowly falling snow, catching some flakes with my tongue. I love the sound of the wind whistling through trees’ bare branches and around leaky windows. A warm furry body pressing up against my back as I snuggle deep under the covers with a good book. A full blown blizzard giving me permission to hibernate and play. I need the company of cats again, for my sanity if nothing else. Nothing calms my soul like the purr of a cat sitting on me or next to me. I love doing the “I love you” slow blink with them, nose kisses and head butts. I know, Joanne, that we will see our fur babies again. They will be waiting for us!

  7. Ann Richter Hickox says

    Gracie will always be with you, in your heart, and in Annie’s spirit. As you said, Gracie picked her for you. 🙂 <3

    • Ann, thank you for reading. Yes, I can now feel comfort by knowing Gracey is in my heart. And in Annie. I am so grateful that Gracey found Annie and Eddie for us.

      • Ann Richter Hickox says

        Darnit, I always spell Gracey’s name wrong, although I’m sure she and you will forgive me for being scatter brained 🙂 I started following The Tiniest Tiger on FB awhile ago now, I don’t even remember when, and I too was heartsore when I heard about Gracey’s passing. And then I read about Annie, and Gracey having picked her, and about Eddie bonding with Annie in the shelter, and I could just feel Gracey’s presence in all of it. I miss my cats who’ve crossed the Bridge and I dread the day when Ralphie and Peanut tell me it’s time for them to go, but, I have already decided that when that time comes, I will reach out to the ones who are considered ‘unadoptable’, and help heal their hearts, and mine. Thank you, Joanne, for continuing to allow all of us into your lives, even when there are painful moments to share. I believe it helps to know that there are a lot of people out here who would embrace you with love and comfort, if we could be with you in person. <3

  8. Clare Pachuau says

    Awwwwww………..Gracey always reminds me of my Sally who passed away May 7th 2010. They look so much alike. I live with her daughter Princess Sally now. I still see Sally in my dreams. I can relate to your feelings so well.

    • Clare, isn’t that a comfort to see Sally in your dreams and how wonderful that her daughter is with you now. They are wonderful life long friends. Sending you a hug and thank you for reading.