Such an assortment of things waiting on my kitchen table. In no particular order. A box of jams and jellies waiting to be sent to my aunt (cherry-blackcurrant, rhubarb-ginger, blueberry-lime, oh my!) A jar of homemade kirsch that my neighbor brought over, made with cherries from his trees, waiting for the right recipe, the right drink, but already reduced by sips. A piece of a ducks wing found under an eagle’s perch, just the metacarpus and the primary feathers, the radius and ulna already picked clean and snapped off. That is waiting to be examined under the stereoscope by the girls or stolen off the table by the dogs, whoever gets there first. Waiting to be read: the New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, The Economist. Paperwhites, planted in a blue glazed pot and stretching towards the sun. (I am waiting for those to bloom.)
We took down the Christmas tree. It felt a little sad to pack away the ornaments and sweep up the needles. I’ll miss the lights the most, they always twinkled and warmed my midnight returns. School starts up tomorrow, too, and that will be saddest of all for me. At least the three-year-old one still stays home with me on most days. Such a sweet thing full of snuggles and kisses. When I came down this morning, I sat at the foot of the stairs, as usual, and the dogs came up for their morning scratches and greetings. But the little one pushed them out of the way. “That is my hug!” she declared preemptorily and climbed into my lap and pressed her soft cheek against mine.
December went by in a blur, but now that Christmas is good and out of the way I am feeling ready to gather and send presents. Also, I expect the holiday cards that I ordered in early December to arrive any day so that I can send those out, too.
Enough snow for you yet? Because we’ve got quite a bit of winter left to go.
On days with really big snow I like to visit the Haines Avalanche Information Center website where I can read how we have had nearly 8 feet of snow dumped on us in the past few weeks and to expect more. I go to the ‘local observations tab’ for gems like: ”localized areas of whumphing caused by an unsupported slab…TOO MUCH SNOW!.. Don’t let your guard down…With deep powder should come an even deeper respect.” Hats off to Eric and Jeff for a great website.
On my way into town I not infrequently see a small group of powder-coated figures tumble out of the woods onto the side of the road, snow boards in hand. Where did they come from? The eye goes up…and up and up to the white peaks of the 3,599 ft. monster that hulks over our corner of the fjord.
It is amazing to think that what -to a normal person- represents unscaleable heights, trackless terrain, impenetrable forest and deadly weather conditions is, for those with the fitness, the expertise, (and the courage) to handle it, a fun day of hiking up and skiing down. A good reminder of how a set of skills can really change your view of a situation