Winter ?

Snow in Austin in 2011

Sitting here looking out at the view
wondering what I can do
as the skies are grey and the temperature cold
as winter tries to keep its hold
from sixty five degrees two days ago
this morning we have had some snow
albeit just the faintest of traces
not like some of the other places
where it is measured by the foot
anything less and the point is moot
with the temperature around thirty six degrees
enough to freeze the skin off my knees
and make me put on longer pants
or maybe just to take a chance
the temperature inside of the house
is seventy five and as warm as a mouse
so I think that inside is where I will stay
as outside I do not need today.

Written 2/8/2019

Snow, Who Needs It…

We have just had two days of rain
nothing unusual in that just the same
then all of a sudden it started to snow
that is unusual you have to know
we don’t get enough rain in fact hardly at all
and snow is unheard of as it’s just not that cool
but we certainly got snow following the rain
enough to cover the trees and the grassy terrain
the temperature dropped and caught me off guard
as I quickly covered the pipes in my yard
to stop them from freezing and making a mess
requiring more time to repair them no less
I didn’t have time to bring in the plants
and they look very droopy as they slant
downwards bending hard with the frost
I hope that they are not all lost
and maybe recover with returning Spring
and once more share the beauty that they bring
I have to say that I dislike the snow
and the frost that accompanies this sort of show
If I never see a snowflake again
I would be a very happy old man.

Written 12/8/2017

Texas Weather…Again

maxresdefaultI sat indoors today working on my computer looking out of the window from time to time, as the rain just poured down in bucketfuls. It got me thinking that this year, the weather is acting different than in previous years.

Part-WAS-Was8975875-1-1-0The first 6 months, we had more than our fair share of rain, garnering 30 plus inches by June. That is a normal years average rainfall and we got it in the first 6 months. It does raise the question, why? We are now coming to the end of October and have received a whole lot more. I know that I have measured more than 16 inches in the past 2 weeks and we are not done yet. Global warming maybe or is it just El Nino? Of course, we really need the rain to make up for the past several years of drought. It’s either feast or famine….

Tom Miller DamOne thing you can say about Texas weather is that it does not happen in small doses, except for a real winter that is. Take our Spring time, other than this year when we had a very nice one that lasted more than a couple of weeks, we normally get 2 days and we are into Summer. When I say into, I mean big time as usually we are hit with many 100 plus degree days when we yearn for the weather that we are currently having. Seems like there is no happy medium.

635818108539229090-LCRA-moving-water-downstream-from-lak-aus-to-lady-bird-Oh well, I could still be living back in the old country where we had more rainy days than sunny ones even in a good year. I lived in the “Sunspot of the South” and the continuous rain was was one of the reasons, that given the opportunity, I came here. I landed in Fort Plain in Upper New York State in 1967, and there, it was not uncommon to get 60 inches of snow a year and freezing weather below zero when come Labor Day, everything shuts down, the car won’t start and worse, you have to shovel the driveway just to get out….

You just can’t please some people.

Snow in Austin?

We got our first “snow” last evening. At least, the Austin equivalent of snow. For us, it’s mostly frozen ice and it does manage to create much havoc on the streets and highways. Most Austinites are not used to driving in these sort of hazardous conditions and do not make any allowances in speed or brake time and only manage to stop when they run into something.

Don’t know what it is about Austin drivers. It’s as though inclement weather is like someone throwing down a gauntlet and the foolhardy ones accept the challenge by driving faster and thinking less. That is until they either cause an accident or manage to get themselves involved in one.

I made a small video of the scenes at my house. Kinda picturesque in a way. Thank goodness that it only lasted for a couple of days. I spent ten years in New York State and saw enough snow to last me two lifetimes.

Hate the stuff…That and cold weather…Come on you 100 degrees…

Austin Snow 2014 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Celebration time-46 years later…

Lake Placid. New York State

Lake Placid. New York State

Today, March 13, 1967, my family and I first set foot on the shores of this United States of America after a fairly uneventful trip over from England.The reasons for emigrating were several but I remember that the one that finally pushed us into making the decision to move was probably the least important.

I received a letter from my Mum, who had come over just after WWII to marry a GI she met in England and it went something like this. “Well, it is 8:00 am and the temperature is already making its way up to 80 degrees. It’s going to be another beautiful, warm day. I can have your apartment ready in a couple of weeks and Hermie, (her GI Husband) said you can have his old car”. We were just coming off three weeks of non stop rain and it was miserable and cold as only the English weather can be and my Morris  Mini car was developing a slipping clutch among other things and I turned to my wife and asked what she thought. Six months later and we were getting off the ship at New York harbor on the famous Pier 11.

Queen Mary

Queen Mary

We traveled over on the Queen Mary, almost the last voyage that beautiful ship made. Shortly after, that grand old lady was taken out of service and retired to a dry dock in Long Beach, California to end her days as a luxury Hotel. On our trip, the crew outnumbered the passengers.

For most of the voyage, the weather was fine and although the ship had stabilizers, it did tend to rock and roll a bit especially below decks. It was a bit disconcerting to walk up or down the stairs (and there were many of them) only to find that the next step had either dropped away or had risen up to meet your foot. Very strange sensation.

We did run into a storm on day 6 which blew us off course causing us to dock 12 hours later than scheduled. The food was fabulous although the only ones to enjoy it were my step-son and myself. The others in the family, three girls and my wife, just couldn’t get their sea-legs and spent a lot of time between the toilet and the bunk. Oh yes, we even brought over our Cocker Spaniel who was in a kennel on the top deck.

A little town in upstate New York

A little town in upstate New York

We drove up to a little sleepy town in the Mohawk Valley, named Fort Plain in Upper State New York about 200 miles from the city where we would spend the next ten eventful years and many adventures and stories later. My Mum had sent me a picture of the house in the winter just after a snow storm. I looked at it and thought how pretty it looked with the wind making a huge snowdrift that went from the ground to the top of the roof on a two-storied house completely blocking in the garage doors. It never occurred to me that someone would have to dig a way out to get the car out or to do anything else, or that it would get cold, very cold and that winters lasted 6 months of the year.

That night, as though the weather was there to welcome us, it snowed thirteen inches of wet snow. I had never seen that much snow in one place and had to wonder just what we had let ourselves in for. It was too late for any regrets as we were well and truly, lock, stock and barrel committed to making a go of it. All of our worldly possessions were with us in trunks, and suitcases and there was no going back.

That was 43 years ago. I spent ten years in New York State and after the marriage failed, some of which was caused by wife’s homesickness for her family in England, decided that I needed to be somewhere warmer. By that time, I had re-married a younger woman so when the opportunity arose, we happily packed our belongings into a U-Haul truck and made the long drive to Austin, Texas. No one told me what a 100 degrees feels like not just occasionally but day after day for most of the summer but I have to say that I much prefer the heat of an Austin summer to the cold of a New York winter.

In truth, the move to Texas was an immigration in itself with the only difference that we didn’t leave the American shores or get to pass the Statue of Liberty.

Snow in New York State

Snow in New York State

Now at age 77, three wives and six kids later, I live quietly alone with my five dogs and two cats spending my days working in the garden or writing in my blog. I have a lot of stories to tell with new ones almost every day and many of my earlier years have already been posted in this blog. I personally have no regrets in the move from England to the U.S. although I can’t speak for those who made the trip with me, my wife and the four kids. I’m sure they have their own opinions on the subject.

I wonder what the next adventure is in store for me? I plan on living an active life till I’m 120 or so. Just as long as we don’t get thirteen inches of wet snow here in Texas tonight.

Still plenty of time to see lots of changes…


Cold Weather

Frost bitten Geraniums

Frost bitten Geraniums

My garden is a bloody mess
with Jack Frost finally doing its thing
where there was a lot of green
all has a nasty dead coloring.

Nearly all the plants the frost has dried
freezing the moisture from the inside
the end result is a burnt brown look
that will require that I cut
everything back to the roots.

As the weather is still very cold
the cutting back can keep until
some comfort can be found
as the temperature rises from the ground
and warmer weather comes around.

I love my garden I have to say
and I don’t mind the fact that it is hard work
but I certainly want some warmth at least
if I am to go and tame the beast.

We do seem to be having a much colder time
than we normally get this time of year
generally, it is not till next month
that freezing weather arrives here.

Global warming must be the cause
at least that’s what the experts will say
Me, all I know is that it is cold
and I want it to go away.

Snow in New York State

Snow in New York State

I lived ten years in New York State
where winter lasts six months of the year
and six feet of accumulated snow I fear
is not uncommon when you wake

The coldest temperature I was in
was on a ski slope one evening
with the windchill it was down
to minus 52 below freezing

I took off my ski’s and walked back down
the mountain side on the same trail
I should have skied if it was not so cold
and instead headed in to the bar and to get warm.

Another time, I had a car freeze up
as the temperature was minus 23
and the only way to get it to start
was bring it inside and let it thaw.

I moved out of New York after ten years of hell
as far south as I could thinking that well
the snow only last’s one day at a time
and cold and frost was not really that much
and compared to New York, a walk in the park.

New Yorker‘s are a hardy bunch
they take this weather in their stride
they put on snow tires and winterize their cars
wear snow boots and long-johns to keep warm
they ride snow mobiles and skiing go
out in the cold and in the snow

Texas Summer

Texas Summer

I was so glad to leave that behind
and move to the warmth of the Texas sun
the summer times I can stand
when the temperatures climb to a hundred and one
sometimes even a little more
but I do not find that a chore
as shorts and tee shirts and sandles too
are all I need to keep me cool.