Sunday, January 27, 2019

storm warnings

I know what you're thinking: she wanted snow! she's getting snow!

Indeed, we're getting snow. Again. Tonight. Lots of it. Schools are closing, people are bracing for the worst.

To clarify -- I do love winter snow. It's odd to think of it as adding color to a somber landscape, but it does just that. And when the sun is out, it's like magic: the brightness is profound and shadows appear in beautiful ribbons of blue.

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Still, the combination of snow and cold and I mean real cold, of the Polar Vortex kind that we're getting this week, is brutal. You can't stay out for long. Exposed skin is at risk of frostbite. And yes, I'm sure there will be skiers out there -- you can always find a few who find extreme conditions pleasantly challenging, but we wont be among them. Even when I was much, much younger, I always acknowledged that I was a fair weather skier. A few runs down mountains under blizzard conditions cured me of the desire to showoff my bulldog spirit. I'm no toy poodle -- more like a pug maybe, or some other animals that loves the lap as much as she loves a good walk in fine weather.  Emphasis on the "fine."

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This morning, I attended to the animals. They're growing in number: Stop Sign has two of her kids now by her side. At least we think they're her kids. Ed calls them the two little girls. They're very shy still, but we see them scampering in the garage as we approach. Ed has rigged a lightbulb in a large bucket and draped the whole with an ancient sleeping bag and the little family is ganging out there now. We think they should survive the coming coldest of cold temperatures. The cheepers -- well, they do huddle together in the coop. So long as their skinny feet are hidden under their large feathery torsos, they should be okay. Introducing a lamp into the coop is too dangerous and no, we're not bringing them indoors! All we can do is make sure they stay dry and away from any wind.

Animals tended to. We sit down to breakfast.

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And then I head out to shop for groceries and of course, everyone is stocking up in anticipation of the cruel weather that's just ahead of us. I make sure to buy flowers for the table. When a snowstorm rages and a Polar Vortex pushes Arctic air all the way down to the farmette, you have to pay attention to flowers: they keep you focused on all that will follow. Because really, spring will come!

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In the evening, the young family is here for dinner. Snowdrop had called me last night and that was wonderfully sweet, because, in fact, I haven't seen her or any of them for several days now. But nothing beats a warm meal together. Of course, they want to hear about the Chicago clan! We always are hungry for details of those who cannot be with us at the table.

And after I tell my stories and we review all the Chicago pictures, it's time for everyone else, including Snowdrop, to chime in. 

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Sparrow can't offer words, but he can show his enthusiasm in other ways!

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Dinner. Tacos, because four year olds really like tacos and the grownups are cool with all that I prepare to stuff into that shell.

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Afterwards, there's time for play. She offers loving support for his efforts, he offers total appreciation for her understanding and enthusiasm. They make a great team.

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Such a beautiful week-end! I'm ready for the hard stuff. I think.