Saturday, February 14, 2015

It Keeps On Coming

I don't understand why the falling snow doesn't show up in the picture I just took -- trust me, gang, it's snowing.  It's always snowing.  One weather prediction for tomorrow expects a high of 2 -- not one of those wind-chill thingies and not a low. A high.
Things are still cozy, orange juice is holding out, and it's relaxing not having left  the house for who knows how many days now. 
 So okay, we all know goldfinch come back up north late, maybe in June, so they can use the opening milkweed pods to build nests.  But this morning I find this misguided dingy goldfinch, and as soon as I get the camera out, darned if its relatives don't join it.  They vanished just after I took their picture, and here's why: 

Clearly, the sensible thing was to go back to bed, where surfing cable revealed a choice of  movies, including Little Women, Titanic, and The Full Monty.  Of course I'd seen all of them.  Norm and I even saw the Full Monty on stage in London, years ago.  At the live play, you are wondering, how did they treat the strippers' last scene?  Did those guys really dance their way down to the full monty?  Well -- I believe they did, but it's hard to say, because just as the music reached the "tah-dah!" the stage burst into floodlights -- right in  our eyes. 
The Monty (which was, of course, the movie I chose) had commercials, but that was okay because then I could surf back to glimpses of the others.  I came in on Titanic just in time for the sketch of the nude heroine (definitely a theme to this morning) and then I hit "Little Women" just as Beth died, and this time I did not cry. 
      I used to enjoy asking friends if they remembered how old Beth was when she died.  Average answer is "around 14."  But think about it -- Jo had already left home to seek her fortune.  Amy was in Europe, soon to marry.  People (women) are surprised to realize that Beth was in her 20s when she died. (So was the author's sister Elizabeth Alcott.)  
Second question: what did she die of?  The response was usually "I don't know, maybe tuberculosis?"  But not so.  There's not a cough in the whole book.  Far as I can figure, Beth may have had a weak heart -- remember that earlier scarlet fever?  Or maybe she just Went In to a Decline.  That happened a lot in those days.


  1. This and that:

    (1) My goldfinches, at least, don't migrate. They're usually muscled out at my feeders by more aggressive birds, but they do show up occasionally during the winter when they can get a beak in edgewise.

    (2) I put Beth's age of death at 20, since Jo says "nineteen is too young" during the conversation she and Beth have on the beach about Beth's impending demise the summer before.

    (3) And I agree that weak heart due to scarlet fever is the probable cause. Beth is described near the start of Vol. 2 (on Meg's wedding day, as the younger girls are dressing) as having been quietly ailing ever since the fever.


  2. Edith, are you familiar with the "Friends" episode about "Little Women"? I never really watched Friends much, but that one is quite funny. Miriam loves it. You should get her to tell you about it sometime. CMS