Tuesday, February 12, 2019

it snows

All night, all day, the snow came down. Were it not for what now lies underneath that new snow cover (a thick blanket of ice), I'd say it was one of our prettier snowfalls. For once, it's not terribly cold and there is no wind.

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Honestly, it's the kind of snow that will bring a smile to any snow loving person's face.

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But there is that base of ice and so deciding on how to proceed with shoveling calls for some discussion.

An Ocean reader suggested we explore some environmentally friendly snow melting granules. I like that option! I logged onto Amazon first thing this morning and purchased what I thought would be the most environmentally friendly stuff ("Natural Alternative Ice Melt") -- all this before Ed even stirred. I knew I'd get push back from him and I decided that when I ran out of counter arguments (he'll ask for lists of ingredients and then dig up scientific articles discussing their efficacy and potential for harm), I could say -- well, too late: I already ordered some, followed by -- it's way better than salt and we have to do something!

It's a predictable tug-of-war. Ed has always lived in ways that do minimal damage to the environment, but I'd say, with age, he's become even more rooted in his convictions that we are a wasteful species, caring little for the footprint we leave behind. I don't disagree, but I cannot quite reduce my footprint to the levels that he would like. The Ice Melt I bought was the only one I could find that claimed benefits to plant life, at the same time that it would not release unwanted elements into the watershed and ultimately the lakes fed by our springs. Run-off from salted roads and from excessive use of fertilizers has polluted Madison's lakes and we do care deeply about this issue. And of course, even using a product endorsed by the scientific community and a few environmentally focused agencies is not completely without consequence. Ed would rather just wait this freeze out. Me, I've done some slip sliding recently and so I want to do some minimal ice removal in just a couple of crucial spots -- where I get in and out of the car, where we step out of the house. Slabs of ice in both places wont disappear for many weeks. I'd like to give them a nudge.

In the meantime, we continue to walk cautiously. He feeds the cheepers, I feed the cats.

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We eat breakfast, enjoying the beauty and serenity of the winter landscape out the window.

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Because this snowstorm is so persistent (from yesterday evening until tomorrow morning), schools had to close today. No one wanted another snow day: teachers will have to make up the time in June and kids just came off of an extended stay at home time. Still, it was the right decision. The plows just cannot clear a street when the snow keeps on falling.

Parents once again have had to scramble. In the afternoon, the young parents drop off Sparrow and Snowdrop at the farmhouse and go off to their respective offices. Yo have to wonder what parents are expected to do when a retired Gaga isn't within reach.

(Ed eats an apple, she wants an apple. Ed eats nuts, she wants nuts...)

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(And Sparrow is just so delighted with the whole setup.)

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Sister and brother, brother and sister...

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Don't you think it's time the two of them played together? He's willing!

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She's willing, so long as he steers away from the pink.

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When Sparrow naps, we read. And then I suggest she make Valentine's Day cards. Snowdrop loves everything about this project.

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And of course, there has to be a solid block of time for story-telling.

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There's a lot of story in all of us. But for this little girl, the beat of a story is so strong, that a day cannot be whole without its satisfying release.

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Evening. I check on the cats again, brush the snow off the pathway, reheat some leftovers for dinner. It's still snowing. It's still very slippery. And very beautiful out there. And even more beautiful here, in the quiet farmhouse, with the still twinkling colorful winter lights.