Given hurricanes and fires across our nation, why the drama about Jack Frost’s arrival?
I understand why his ancestor, Jokul Frosti, a scary old giant, made northern Europeans want to flee to Florida. However, I don’t get Jack’s German great-great-grandma, “Mother Frost.” What mom in her right mind would initiate the never-ending rituals of zipping coats and searching for mittens and boots?
The Jack Frost I encountered during first grade seemed friendly. Our teacher read stories about Jack painting trees’ foliage with brilliant colors. He froze mud puddles into brittle layers we stomped when mothers weren’t looking. He carved icy designs on windows we licked to see if they tasted as sugary as they looked.
Still, Jack never rated the attention we gave other holidays. The obvious reason for his lack of popularity: Nobody received presents or candy in Jack’s honor.
As adults, we harbor mixed feelings about him. Many welcome Jack’s fall arrival far more than spring visits, when gardeners cover freshly planted seedlings. In spring, according to the Fruit Growers News, some farmers even hire hovering helicopters to warm trees and prevent Jack’s mischief.
Yet we fall fanatics celebrate russet, gold, melon and chocolate hues Jack paints on hardwoods’ leaves. James Whitcomb Riley would approve of the silvery sheen he spreads on pumpkins.
Allergy sufferers like my husband welcome Jack Frost with open arms. Hubby also celebrates mowing less often.
However, Jack gets carried away with fall decorating. Not content to paint individual leaves, he arranges thousands to beautify our lawn.
Jack also seems to enjoy watching plant lovers like myself scurry around our yards like squirrels. We haul flowerpots inside — though where we will park 43 ferns and geraniums, we have no idea.
Also, Jack is super-thin. Can I trust someone that skinny?
His arrival portends ice that isn’t as pretty as his window designs. Sooner, not later, his Jokul Frosti side shows up.
At least, meteorologists — unlike their treatment of hurricanes and blizzards — don’t give Jack a new name each time he appears. Frankly, I couldn’t take Arnold Frost seriously.
Despite mixed feelings, this fall fanatic continues to admire Jack’s exquisite autumn colors and stomp through frozen puddles in his honor.
But lick icy windows?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you see Jack Frost?