Saturday, December 21, 2013

winter solstice

It is such a peculiarity of nature that daylight is at its shortest as we begin our slog into the winter season!

Today, of course, is winter solstice: at midday, we see the sun at its lowest arc. (Did you know that even though we have fewest minutes of daylight, the sun actually sets later today than it did in the past few days? It has to do with the elliptical path of the earth.) Though here, in Wisconsin, we wont really see that elusive sun. We're in a cloudy stretch of freezing mist. Pretty, if you look at it from the side of the wind.

DSC02309 - Version 2

DSC02303 - Version 2

With really pronounced ice crystals.

DSC02305 - Version 2

But biting cold. It reminds me of central Europe in winter. (And by the way, Warsaw gets two hours less of daylight today than we do: they're only at about 7.5 hours, we're nearly at 9.5. My sister lives in Stockholm and they, poor souls, are at a mere 6.)

My color today is at home. I stayed up late last night wrapping...

DSC02324 - Version 2

...which is such a luxury! When, in the past, could I take the time to do this several days before the holiday? Ed was impressed:
Take a photo! It's so pretty!
It struck me that he's not been around gift wrapping much. It goes without saying that he and I do not exchange presents.

It's a day of smiles. At breakfast...

DSC02311 - Version 2

DSC02313 - Version 2

After breakfast...

DSC02318 - Version 2

In the course of the day, I go out only once, to the grocery store. A pretty drive!

DSC02314 - Version 2

In an icy gray sort of way. (This is the road just by our driveway.)

DSC02308 - Version 2

In the late afternoon, I fret about a key gift that did not arrive. The company where I made the (online) purchase is no longer picking up its phone, nor is it responding to email (somehow I had missed the key fact that it was already well into bankruptcy proceedings). In a resigned acquiescence to the superiority of Amazon, I reordered said item from there and sure enough, within minutes it was on its way.

The little guys let me down.

In other news -- it is a delightfully slow-paced pre-holiday weekend. My girls, their guys and occasionally Ed will be joining forces over various meals this Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Followed by a part two dinner on Wednesday. None of this is at the farmhouse and that's more than okay -- the reindeer have taken the sleigh elsewhere this year and I am content with it all, so long as we can have our time together.

Which is the truly magnificent part of this season.