Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Friday, December 7, 2012

Winter Morning in the Country

Aside from a brief pre-Thanksgiving flurry, we'd not yet seen snow in my little slice of Arden in the Colville valley. But this morning as I took Tsunami for her walk at daybreak a flake or two clouded up my spectacles, and ten minutes after we came inside, the fat fluffy snowflakes had transformed my dismal dead-branched yards and pastures into a true Currier and Ives winter wonderland. I feel full of the Christmas spirit. So today I begin to send out my Christmas letters, and I'll make one final foray before noon to finish off my Christmas shopping. I've an AAUW Christmas party and silent auction, our FUNdraiser for girls' scholarships, set for Sunday afternoon...and at last I feel in full season.

This will be a relatively quiet December for me, however. I no longer want to fly during this season. In former years I visited friends and family in other states sometime around Thanksgiving. The past two years I arrived home shortly after Turkey Day and found I was unable to get my car up my driveway into the garage, because of the snow. Though it came in late this year, I no longer want to deal with snowdrift uncertainty during the holidays. I don't want to mar my merriness obsessing about whether I'll be unable to creep up slippery Slide Creek Road to fetch my dogs from their End of the Trail kennel when the temperature's plunged down to the oughts. I don't want to worry about skimming over a patch of black ice and slidinig off the side of Highway 395. Nope. Just want to hunker down, read, watch videos, pet my pets, and watch pre-taped Dickens films.

I'm easing into my hibernal mode, even though the calendar shows there's still a couple of weeks of autumn left. I can feel my system slowing down...time for afternoon naps, ambles--not sprints--through the library stacks, thawing out some of the soups I froze last spring, even welcoming the ghosts of Christmas past.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in a beautiful 1890s Spokane house that reminded me of the rambling old Scotts Mills home I lived in briefly in the 1940s. I spent the evening remembering those childhood holidays, and delighted in recalling the trees my grandfather used to chop down each Christmas. Now I live in the Colville National Forest, surrounded by those firs. Just like a print from Currier and the one here, Winter Morning in the Country.

What do you suppose the men in the sleigh have in those tanks?  Is it cider? Ale for holiday wassail bowls? Milk? Are there any jingle bells on those horses?'s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

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