We were up and out early, just as the sun was coming up over the hills. The day dawned clear and cold, with fog frozen on the trees. Everything was frosted with ice crystals reminiscent of snowflakes, a magical landscape, the woods still and beautiful. What a perfect backdrop to remembering the incredible gift God gave so many years ago: the baby born in the manger in Bethlehem, the Savior of the world.
Archive for December, 2009
We got out the snowshoes for the first time this winter for a trek along an abandoned road. It is now mostly a stream bed and greatly abused by ATVs. It is a lovely stretch of woods that gets churned up to mud with all the weekender traffic. But in the winter, it is still pristine and beautiful, especially after a good snow. We saw lots of wildlife tracks: rabbit, deer, fox, squirrel….. and turkeys. While most of the other tracks criss-crossed the old road, the turkeys used it as a thoroughfare. We see them often in the yard, sometimes large flocks, sometimes one or two. What a treat to “see” them here.
It’s been coming for a while. Sometimes the charger worked, sometimes it didn’t. A full charge only lasted 24 hours. It was often running low on battery and more often than not, I had to plug it in to use it. But it served me well for many, many years, starting way back before there were wallpaper options or cameras. This was only the second cell phone I ever owned, the first having gone the way of analog service. I loved this little dinosaur; it was simple and straight forward, just the ticket for me. I wasn’t bound by a contract (it expired years ago) and I had a great plan that I wasn’t willing to trade for bells and whistles.
Then my family started to move to iphones, slowly, one at a time, until finally my daughter talk time was threatened because it would cost her too many minutes. The plan was to wait until Roger’s contract expired in a few months and then switch together. But after some research, it didn’t make sense to wait. So today, I said goodbye to my faithful friend and moved on. Since I’m not all that savvy, it’ll take me a little while to figure it all out. I have to enter all my contacts by hand because the store didn’t have a cable that would accommodate my sim card. Then there are all those wonderful apps to explore, and email to figure out. After just a little dabbling, I think I’m going to like the change.
Remember that tree we picked up at the fire department? It’s up and decorated. And with a few present under it, no less! Honestly, it was up but stayed undecorated for a few days while we went to visit an aunt and a cousin we haven’t seen in a few years. Finally, there was no more putting it off and once I got started, it was fun. Roger was out for the evening and I thought it would be a pleasant surprise when he came home. It helped that the tree is only as tall as I am. Two strings of lights and a couple of handfuls of ornaments did the job. I realize from this exercise that I need to go through the ornament box and cull what I haven’t used of late. Gone are the days of 8 foot plus trees and needing every ornament we owned to make it look full and shimmering. So I think I’ll set a goal of sorting out and consolidating when it comes time to put them all away.
It continues to snow and the house looks festive in it’s cloak of simple candles in the windows and wreaths on the doors. I’ll hang crocheted snowflakes from the chandelier and put a little decoration in each spare bedroom for when the guests arrive, but it seems I’m being content with less fuss. There’s no one to impress here, and after all, that’s not what the Christmas season is all about anyway. Sure, we’re looking forward to family time, enjoying each other in the snow, around the fire and playing games. But the highlight and focus is always about the incredible gift that God gave mankind. Jesus, the only true hope for peace with God was born into the world to die. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Life has been busy in this neck of the woods despite the lack of information posted here. This past weekend was the culmination of months of diligent practice with the Springfield Community Chorus. (Don’t look for me in the picture – it’s from last year. I’m sure they’ll post the new one they took for next year’s article.) We sang two concerts in nearby towns, one Saturday and one Sunday and now have a month off before the spring work begins. Even in spite of the first measurable snow of the season, both houses were packed for this annual tradition.
We managed to get a Christmas tree from the local fire department; it is in the house and vertical but so far unadorned because I’ve somehow caught my 3rd cold in 3 months and don’t feel like doing much. We’ll get to it in a few days. So I’ve been laying low in front of the fireplace while it snows its heart out outside for our second storm of the season. Don’t worry, after this one, I’ll stop counting them. Our measurement in early afternoon was at 16″ and it is still coming down several hours later, depositing another couple of inches. The weatherman has predicted freezing rain, so we’re leaving whatever comes down now so that we’ll hopefully be able to get it up once the rain stops. The ice stays all winter if it hits the bare driveway and the thought of putting sand down that will get tracked into the house is unpleasant. It isn’t us so much as the dog, who can’t take her paws off in the mud room. 🙂
This last one was taken about 4pm after the heavy snow had abated somewhat. I was on my way out to get the mail. Yep, we have to walk down the hill to the corner where the mailboxes are. When I got to the private road that goes along one side of our property, it hadn’t been plowed and there was about 4 feet of snow across the entrance. Not wanting to step into that deep pile, I thought I’d take what looked like a shallower route. Thing is, I forgot that there was a rather large drainage ditch that went through there. I sank up to my waist – my arms kept me from going deeper but it was a struggle to get my feet out and roll off the pile. Needless to say, I left the mail for tomorrow. Who knows if there was anything in the box anyway.
Thursday is the day I spend volunteering at Six Loose Ladies, our local yarn shop. We’re a not-for-profit, none of us are paid, and we’re a wonderful resource and outlet for local fiber artists and producers.
Anyway, on my way our the door this morning, as the end of the Nor’easter was passing through, I saw this beautiful rainbow. It was exceptionally bright and lasted a long time. At one point it was almost complete, arching all the way to the other side of Okemo from downtown Ludlow.
I do a variety of things at the shop. Along with selling yarn and patterns, I get to help folks who come in with projects in progress. From deciphering directions, to teaching cast ons and bind offs, it’s always interesting. Sometimes I get to teach someone how to crochet or knit – brand new beginners – and we love how excited they are when they bring in their first completed project.
I also help out with the window display. Sometimes it’s a struggle; sometimes it’s pretty easy. Suzanne had a great idea for Christmas and by the time she arrived, I had the window empty and ready to go. And this one went together like a charm.
Remember those snowflakes I did a while back? I stiffened them a few days ago with diluted white glue and they were ready for the charity wreath. We added some silver ribbon and 5 precious felted snowmen who are sporting hand knit scarves and hats. One even has a little cardinal friend perched on his head. Pang and a friend made the snowmen, Suzanne and I dressed them with cute hats and scarves. We hope our contribution brings lots of money at the auction.
I’ve been eying a set of manga markers at Michael’s. It comes with lovely gray brushes in 5 shades with which to shade my doodles. I finally decided to get them today with a hefty discount coupon, only to find that they were already on sale and didn’t qualify for my coupon. They were 40% off anyway and I brought them home. I just had to try them. Besides, was tired of making 40 ” of I cord for a knitting project I’m working on.