Friday, January 02, 2015

Ocean 11

January, my month of records and milestones! It ushers in the first day of this year (January 1, 2015). It gave us the coldest day of the century (January 19, 1985). And the day my youngest girl was born (January 19, 1985). And the start of my retirement (January 12, 2014). And the birth of my first grandchild (expected: January 9, 2015). And the day I began writing Ocean (January 2, 2004).

That puts my daily blogging at eleven years today, which isn't a round number or a memorable milestone and so I'll not spend time reminiscing about how it once was (to blog with spotty internet), or how it is now (to blog, always with camera at the side). But if I've learned anything from being here with a story every day it's that there is a story to be told out there, every day.

And that's a good thing to remember.

In other news -- well, if there was a theme to this day, I'd suggest that it was that of rescue. Let me explain.

As is his new habit, Ed worked on his project late into the night. Tired and drowsy, he came back to the farmhouse and fixed himself a snack. Instantly Isie boy was at his side, begging. The cat really likes freshly cooked chicken and he can smell that meat the minute the fridge door is cracked open. Normally, we try to break up food for him into really small pieces -- the cat is old, his teeth can't be good. But this time, tiredness must have interfered because when Ed broke off some chicken bits (leftover from making chicken soup), he included in the dish a rather large piece. With a bone in it. A minute later, Isie is gasping for air. The bone has wedged in his throat.

Nina! Come help!

By the time I fully understand that I am not dreaming and run down to what I think surely must involve blood, gore and maybe broken glass, the drama is over: Ed had pried open the cat's mouth, gotten lots of nice cat bites for his efforts and reached down the throat to remove the offending bone. I'm guessing Isie has a sore throat today, but he seems otherwise fully recovered. Ed's all bandaged up and I have even stopped asking -- are you sure you're all right?

The night time drama had produced a nice mess in the kitchen and so I spend the next hour washing the floor, the table, the counter and every conceivable surface.

By which time it is nearly dawn.


I surely am ready for some calm.

A calm breakfast, for example.


A calm morning encounter in the brilliant sunshine with the cheepers. (Here's Butter, thanking me for the bread morsel.)


And in the afternoon, I suggest a calm walk along our local cross country ski trail. There is no snow and so we haven't skied at all this winter, but for once the air is perfect for a hike. The temperatures are hovering just a handful of degrees below freezing, the sun makes an occasional appearance. We're in for some bitter cold next week so yes, today is the day to head out.


The trail takes us to Lake Waubesa. Despite the absence of snow, the waters of the lake appear frozen. Are they? Has it been that cold for that long? Perhaps the layer of ice is thin still. No, we see ice fishers. The ice is so clear!


Should we test it? I say this with hesitation. There are cracks in the ice. But maybe that's normal? Surely the ice fishers, some with trucks and huts, know when it's safe to venture out. If we stay close to them, we should be okay.
At the very least, they'll be there for the rescue! -- Ed says reassuringly.


We walk toward them.  As we get closer to a small group admiring a caught fish, he hear a loud crack underneath. Instinctively I turn toward the shore. The ice fishers laugh. It's safe, one says. It's the noise of the ice expanding.

Well okay, but this comes from people who get a tickle out of sitting on the frozen lake all day. Let's do a selfie and retreat.


Ever so slowly, we head back. Past fishermen, past a skater, past a kid on an ATV and another one hacking away at the ice with an ax...


People find pleasure in the most interesting ways.

Safely on the shore we rejoin the trail, the familiar and beautiful ski trail that now looks barren and rather brown. Never mind, the cheepers hate snow. We are having a winter that suits their fancy!

Evening. It's quiet again. We watch a movie, we eat leftovers. The heat comes on, the water pump hums. It is a good beginning to the new year.