Thursday, December 14, 2017


We've had winters like this before: cold, snowless. I can't pretend that they're a favorite. I like snow! But I also do appreciate the sunshine that has popped in fairly regularly for us. A sunny cold day feels a lot warmer than a gray, less cold day.

Today, we wake up to sunshine. Well, one of us wakes up. We really are keeping rather different sleeping schedules this season...

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By noon, we've reached our peak for the day: 25F (-4C). Nonetheless, we both are anxious to get moving. Cold weather can turn you into a couch potato pretty quickly.

We aren't ambitious: a one hour spin through our local county park is perfect!

It's a lovely park -- trees, prairies, lakefront -- all just a couple of miles up the road. We go there often. Too often perhaps. (Why drive further when this landscape is so pleasing?) Yet it's always just a little different. Two weeks ago, for instance, we watched turtles sunbathe on the logs spilling into this pond. Today, the waters are frozen solid.

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And the big lake to the east (Lake Waubesa) looks to be a sheet of ice as well. We note an ice fisherman setting up shop. How does he know it's safe?

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We're in that early winter phase when the ice hasn't much snow cover. It's quite beautiful actually.

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In places where the creek flows into the lake, there are, of course, soft spots. This is where the ducks and geese hang out.

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Yes, it's a gorgeous day to be in south central Wisconsin!

And soon after, I'm picking up Snowdrop. I urge her to move quickly: she is at the moment without jacket (it's too confining to be strapped into her car seat in a bulky winter coat). Hurry, little one! Get in the car!

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At the farmhouse, she attacks her usual favorites which, these days, include a rousing song fest -- all of us playing instruments in rough accompaniment to her boisterous singing.

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(A pause to try on a decorative Christmas stocking. It fits!)

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I do sense that she is on the tired side of normal. (A second day in a row without a school nap.)

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Tired, but not unhappy.

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I share a little of that: I'm still somewhat on Europe time, falling asleep way too early each evening. Or is it that in winter, we all long to turn in soon after the sun sets? On the shortest day of the year, that sunset will be at 4:26 p.m. (but the sun rise will be later). Today, it set at 4:23 making it technically the shortest afternoon. We're getting there -- that wonderful moment when we flip the switch and the days start getting longer!

In the meantime, I'm hiding in the caves with the bears. Good night, good night! And let's dream about a good snow cover, so that Snowdrop (so aptly named!) and I can build a big fat snowman.