Tuesday, December 06, 2016

what will it be like today?

Weather matters. If you pay attention to the outdoors (and who doesn't...), then you have to adjust your mindset, tailoring it to what you'll find when you step outside.

Our December weather this year is quite different from what we've had in recent times. December in south central Wisconsin (where I live), especially early December is mostly foggy, drizzly, cold, but not yet bitter cold. The snow that fell on Sunday, too, is atypical. We've not really had a white Christmas for a while and it's been even longer since we've had a white December 4th.

Unfortunately, the snow isn't good enough for skiing, but still, it gave me enough white stuff to build a snowman! How good is that!

Today did dawn foggy and not so cold, but I know this is just a brief respite. We're entering a really cold period. Really cold. On some days next week the high (the high!) is expected to be around 4F (-15C). I feel only slightly guilty that I picked next week as the week I'm away from Wisconsin.

Because of my forthcoming travel, I have quite the number of preholiday tasks to attend to and so right after breakfast...

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... Ed fixes the wheel on his car and I sit down to work.

Picking up Snowdrop is delightful -- it's not cold enough for a full snowsuit...

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She asks to go home (to her grand Christmas tree), but when I remind her there is a snowman with a carrot nose at the farmette, she is happy to bounce out of the car...

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... and go straight to him for a heart to heart talk. (Gaga, pinwheel for snowman!)

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(Okay, Snowdrop!)

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Inside, I show her the lovely little chickens that an Ocean reader sent for our Christmas "pine tree" (thank you!).

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She loves them and she loves the bears and she loves the bells and she loves... Well, you really get to understand how much this holiday hits at the heart of a young one when you look at her infinite glee.

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Ahah comes in... (hi ahah!)

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... and as is his custom these days, he attacks her lunch box and searches for unfinished food, especially the cheese slices which she often leaves behind (my feeling is that school lunch follows too closely on the heels of school snack and the hunger just isn't there yet for her: it picks up when she comes to the farmhouse). He toasts some bread, melts the cheese and he and Snowdrop share a feast.

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She makes sure that he has a bit of everything. Down to the last blueberry.

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It's a lovely afternoon and the three of us play, mingling her stories with his (which these days always include some tragic event to befall a Duplo character -- for example today a tractor rolls over a chicken) and with mine (which undo any harm that befalls a character endangered in Ed's telling of it).

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As she naps and I sit down at the kitchen table to catch up on work, I notice that the skies clear...

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... and within minutes we have a beautiful winter blue sky.

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Our snowman may not like this turn of events, yet I can't help but smile at the delicate prettiness of the farmette now. Yes, it was beautiful yesterday after the big snow, but even with bare spots appearing here and there, it surely looks lovely now too.

In the late afternoon, I take Snowdrop downtown to attend her mommy's office holiday party. I linger for a while, not to crash their fun (though as an emerita, I too am invited) but to congratulate a colleague who is retiring this month. (Ann, with son.)

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I walk my familiar blocks -- ones I once walked so often to my former office and back again and I think -- wow! So much has changed in the last three years. Nearly all of it has been wonderful and kind. Gentle, like the skies outside.

Snowdrop is beyond joyous. Party! -- she says again and again. Going to mommy's party! She insists on running from the garage to the university building. Once there, she is full of her happy smiles. Especially since there is, predictably, a Christmas tree to admire.

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It's good to be downtown again in the evening. But it's even better to return to the warm farmhouse at the end of a winter day.