Saturday, November 21, 2015

a Saturday where the rules are broken

We knew there would be some snow. But when a winter storm is predicted for the night, you never can tell what you'll find when you wake up. Would it fizzle to nothing? Would we see a snow cover at all? It's actually rare to have substantial snow here before Thanksgiving.

Ah, but this time is different. There are no rules, after all, where storms are concerned. We wake up to beautiful snow.

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The crab apple trees sport a lovely layer of white stuff.

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The pinwheels don't give up, despite the drifting banks of snow.

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My wreath, purchased yesterday and not even properly placed yet, is already covered with it.

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I stumble out to my car. Snow-covered. I use a broom to do away with most of the heavy stuff. It's not yet the sunrise hour, but it shouldn't matter -- no one will be watching the sun popping the horizon here today. If the roads are navigable, I want to go out and see this wintry landscape of ours! I'm one of those who will always be thrilled by the first big snowfall.

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It'll always look beautiful to me.

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I drive toward our Lake Waubesa -- always such a pretty spot...

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Though of course, the water hasn't frozen yet. We've barely had a couple of nights with below freezing temperatures!

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At the farmette, we've been slackers in terms of winterizing the cheepers' living quarters and so even before breakfast, we pick up the coop (with the hens inside -- no one wanted to step out into the white ground!) and move it into the barn, surrounding it on three sides with straw bales. The cheepers seem relieved. We restock their food supply and clear a path for them, though to our knowledge, they never leave the coop today.

As I walk back to the farmhouse to fix breakfast, I pause to admire the now quite different view.

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It's beautifully warm inside, but I've been running around as if it were autumn out there. Hot shower first!

And now for a good breakfast.

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And then it strikes me that Snowdrop should have a sled and she should have it soon, because if our last Wisconsin winter were to be any marker of our snowfalls, we may not have many weeks where she can enjoy it.

 I study toddler sleds on Amazon. Ed is shaking his head. Why buy new, when some good soul wants to get rid of the old? We turn to Craigs list and sure enough a dad wants to offload the sled his son never grew to love. One time I took him out in it and it flipped and he never would go in it again!

It's perfect. Just Snowdrop's size (the sled is for a toddler, but she is a very big girl). Snowdrop's mommy suggests the two of us take her out in it in the late afternoon and I'm thrilled to tag along!

But first, Ed and I have a ski date. Oh, how I love these quick spins on the trails just up the road from us!

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This time, it's as if fall and winter were put in a blender and after a few robust turns, out came this day. The wind is brisk and the temperatures remain below freezing, but it's thrilling to be out on skis again.

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The skies are blue now, but not for long: the sun is sinking and the shadows grow long.

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Oh, but it's so good to be skiing again!

And then I hastily drop Ed off at the farmhouse and drive over to Snowdrop's home. Her mommy has purchased some warm shoes for the girl. She tries them on. Perfect fit!

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On goes the snowsuit. Typically she is not thrilled to be dressed for the cold outdoors, but she is patient this time. Maybe she knows that a first snowfall is special?

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We take two sleds -- her mom has an adult toboggan and of course, I have this child's sled. We put her in it and her mom pulls her along (I pull the toboggan). The light is so beautiful now!

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Snowdrop's mom is enthusiastic about the outing and this makes all the difference to the little girl. She even occasionally cracks a smile!

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We're at the top of the small hill. The views are tremendous! (Though it looks like you could go straight into the lake from here. Rest assured -- you cannot.)

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Her mom tests the run herself first. Good. Nice and slow. I pick up the girl from her sweet wee sled...

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... and put her in the lap of her mom. Down they go. And one more time!

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I can't say they flew with Olympic speed. And an attempt to show Snowdrop how to do a snow angel is less successful. Still, without a doubt it was a beautiful outing. For all of us.

I drive home so deeply satisfied.

Pausing to admire the last of a sunset...

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... and of course the moon, rising so beautifully just to the east of us.

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