Wednesday, January 30, 2013

a day in four parts

Part One: Snow!

At six in the morning the snow begins. I push back the covers and look outside. Pretty.

Then I pull up the quilt and go back to sleep. Something about snow outside makes it easy to sleep.

Still, snow? Real, blanketing, delightful snow? I need to step outside.

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Ah, lovely stuff. The kind that'll cause driving headaches. The kind that's hard to ignore. The kind that makes Isis run for shelter.

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I walk the farmette land admiring the sudden transformation.

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I can work at home Wednesday mornings and so I do. Let's let them clear the roads some.

We eat breakfast in the front room. You get the better views of the  snow covered trees here, Ed tells me.

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But the snow keeps falling and even if you shovel your way out -- nothing remains clear for long.

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Part Two: More Snow!

I teach shortly after the noon hour and so eventually I have to make my way to campus. It's slow going. Really slow going. I take Ed's '93 Geo. The thinking is that the car is so rusty that nothing can damage it further. It's all good, so long as you keep the speed down to maybe 20 miles an hour.

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Campus is hoppin'. Wisconsin doesn't slow down just because of a snow storm. (And yes, that is a bicyclist pushing his way down State Street.)

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On Bascom Hill students pause, look around, take out their cell phones to photograph the prettiness of this day on campus.

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Part Three: Can't be Soft

Classes end. Time to head home. The wind has kicked in and so now you have the good bits of road, interspersed with stretches that are hardly navigable.

It's late. Barely any daylight left. But if you have the idea that you should celebrate this beautiful snow, then you don't want to turn your back to it just yet. Perhaps there's enough daylight for a trip up to the park. The one with ski trails running close to lake Waubesa. It's so close! A mere two miles from where we are!

So out we go. Never mind that the winds are gusting and the snow is coming down hard. Can't be soft!

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We pull into an empty parking lot. The falling snow feels prickly and unkind if you stand the wrong way. We look out toward the trails. What trails, there are no trails. Of course not. Anything marked now would surely be covered over within minutes The wind is blowing the snow around as if it were one big playing field of confetti.

This is not easy to work with.  A ski run that typically takes an hour drags into twice that and then some. Bits of heavy, wet snow cling to the skis and in places, huge puddles from last night's rains are still visible, waiting to sink your ski if you go the wrong way.

But it's beautiful alright. Winter has given us her best right now. (Predictably, there are fishermen out on Lake Waubesa. Sheltered fishermen. In little huts that add color to an otherwise white landscape.)

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The light fades. We push forward, not gliding at all. More like stomping forward, finding that space between the trees.

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Take another photo, please! -- I hand the camera to Ed, feeling rather victorious when finally we complete the loop.

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Part Four: hungry!

It's dark by the time we reach the car. Isis is past his supper hour. We're past our supper hour.

A blogger in Denmark reminded me earlier today that eggs are terrific to play with, especially if you have some greens in your fridge. And a shallot or two. And a can of good tomatoes. And chunks of cheese to sprinkle on top.

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I'm plenty tired right now. A good kind of tired. Sleepy tired. But so glad to have snow on the ground again. Wisconsin winters, I always say, are easy to navigate, if there's snow to play in and the days are sunny. We've got the white stuff now. I'm hoping for a month (at least) of good, strong sunshine.