Friday, January 29, 2010


Look what I discovered in my garden this morning. HARBINGERS OF SPRING!

How thrilling to think that soon the garden will wake from it's long winters' nap.......but for the second time this month, snow is predicted for my city. We seldom see snow. Sooo........

Just imagine how exciting it was (a few weeks ago) to learn that the heavy snows that had paralyzed much of the country were headed our way. Our local weather forecasters stood in front of maps covered in snowflake symbols, and numbers indicating how many feet of snow had already fallen on cities to the north of us..........and warned that the same front was scheduled to immobilize our city within 24 hours. Now news of an impending snow usually brings cheers from students, and groans from those who are compelled by responsibility to slip and slide their way to work......but this snow event would take place over the a giddy, lighthearted mood hung over the city. This was going to be fun!!!

Preparations began.............road crews immediately coated the streets with salty brine. The whole city rushed right out to stock up on food and bottled water. The lines at the market were a nightmare! News reporters interviewed people exiting hardware stores with their newly purchased sleds, some buying two or three so the whole family could whoosh down snow covered hills together. Like the Whos' of Whoville preparing for Christmas, everyone in my city was making ready for a deep snowfall whose beauty would surely rival any Currier and Ives rendering.

I've always loved this picture of my husband and his brother. I added a caption that reiterated the thoughts of everyone in town.....

I hung it, in a prominent place, as a reminder of what snowy fun was in store.

I spent the afternoon in the kitchen making my favorite vegetable soup, whose flavor intensifies if refrigerated overnight. Could there be anything better than a warm bowl of soup after tomorrow's (much anticipated) romp in the snow?
During the course of the evening we found ourselves routinely looking out the window, hoping to catch sight of the first snowflakes. Around midnight.....white, fluffy flakes began to fall. They continued to fall throughout the night, which should have given us enough snow to build a snowman......or two....or an entire snow family. Right?

Actually, NO!

The snow that fell was very dry and powdery. It wouldn't hold together! OH Nooooo! There would be no snowmen, or snow snowballs or sledding. Our total snow accumulation was less than one inch. The few flakes that did fall, were so feathery and ethereal that gusts of wind would swoop down, pick up large patches and swirl them away, leaving gaping holes in the gossamer white blanket that covered the ground. Currier and Ives would be appalled!

I managed to stick enough of the fluffy stuff together (by spraying with water) to construct a lovely 10 inch masterpiece. Yes, you heard me snowman was 10 inches tall, and built at a rate of about an inch a minute.

So after about 10 minutes of unbridled fun in the snow, we called it a day and went out to lunch via our perfectly dry streets.

This time I'm curbing my enthusiasm.......fool me once etc.

Best Wishes

PS: As I wrote this post, snow began to fall. My enthusiasm has returned!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


All the glitter, sparkle, and vibrantly colored baubles, that made the house sing during the holidays, have been edited from each room, bringing things down several octaves to a familiar, peaceful hum.
How strangely quiet the house seems.

The children and their families have traveled safely back to their respective homes, taking their pets with them. (three dogs and a cat)

Lady and I snuggle on the with my feet tucked warmly under the afghan, she curled up on top.......dreaming, most likely, of her recent romps with the visiting animals.

The silence invites me to reflect, as well. I'm struck by how spending time with loved ones tends to warm your heart and make you smile, long after they're gone.

January is a lovely month........oh I know there are more vibrant months, but the fact that everything has been stripped away, inside and out, gives us a clean slate on which to write our plans. I don't make resolutions, but I do look forward and plan.

The weather drives us indoors where a warm hearth invites us to sit and read.......the kitchen beckons us to taste and create.......the barren garden invites us to envision and scheme.......and January allows us the time. Thirty-one quiet, peaceful days to cherish, and fill with all the little things that bring joy.