Sunday, January 03, 2016


Here's a happy turn: those Arctic temperatures that we usually associate with January in Wisconsin will not arrive for another week.

Still, the gray skies, in my view, make any day feel cold. I say this to Ed as we yet again eat breakfast in the front room, because we haven't had the clear skies that would put us in the east room, which retains heat only if there is plenty of sunshine in the morning.

Ed, contemplating a pear slice:

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I do a thorough farmhouse cleaning. It's time to get back to weekly routines. They make the winter move forward more rapidly.

Then I spend the better part of the day writing and that makes me very happy. It feels like I wrote a lot. It doesn't matter that others, the more serious, dedicated, earnest writers may think that my paltry pages are like a handful of peanuts in an empty jar. To me, it felt like I'd done a lot.

I agreed to go skiing in the afternoon, even though the absence of sunshine called for a warmer sweater, a warmer scarf, a warmer outlook on the outside world.

Here's what you'll see out in our fields and vales on a day like this:

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(Do note though that an absence of polar air keeps the waters and streams running. The deep frost next week will surely freeze things over.)

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 And then in the evening, because it's Sunday, the young family comes for dinner!

 Hi grandpa Ed!

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A pinwheel!

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Is everyone ready to eat?

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We discovered something that is remarkable and unusual: Snowdrop loves asparagus.

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I mean, really loves it! You could bribe her to do cartwheels just by offering her one more stalk.

Who knew.

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The young family leaves, the dishes are put away and then Ed and I do something totally not within our repertoire -- for the first time (ever), we watch Downton Abbey.

Sometimes it takes us a while to catch up with the rest of the world.