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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Counting Our Holiday Blessings

Many people had horrible weather and inconvenience stretched to the point of danger. Downstate there were ice storms instead of fluffy snow, with power outages closely following the ice. Temperatures are as cold as they’ve been lately, and right in the middle of Christmas? Losing power couldn’t have come at a worse time. We were so lucky! It has happened to us before, and it will again, but we were happy to miss the excitement this time around and to have a quiet, cozy Christmas at home, snug and warm.

The snow is deep. It’s been snowing for days, and it’s been cold for such a long time it’s hard to remember anything other than cold, but no one can deny that the recent Up North snowfall has been beautiful – sparkling and glittering in the sunny air on Christmas Eve day like chips of mica, sifting down like finely granulated sugar on Christmas Day morning.

Sarah was a little puzzled when we went out on Christmas Day. She couldn’t figure out how all the bunny tracks from the day before had vanished so thoroughly. For me, the outside interest was more visual than olfactory.

"Where did the bunnies go?"

Presents opened, holiday meal eaten, phone calls made to and received from relatives, and now it’s the Day After. Our plow guy came again and, once again, did his work splendidly. We came to Northport and found the sidewalks cleared of drifts, too. We have been blessed by beauty, by warmth, by family, and by neighbors just doing their jobs. I know that people doing their jobs in places where the power is out will have it on again as soon as humanly possible.

Now, if anyone wants to help me eat pretzel stars dipped in white chocolate and peppermint chips – or caramel corn – or windmill cookies – stop by the bookstore. The coffee’s on, and Sarah and I are here, keeping snug and warm. We have also (well, I have: Sarah didn't have much to do with it) restocked that Bright Wings book, the poetry anthology edited by Billy Collins with Sibley illustrations, and I have another new one bird-lovers will find fascinating, Their Fate Is Our Fate: How Birds Foretell Threats to Our Health and Our World, by Peter Doherty.

Here is what Sarah and I saw when we went out for a walk about an hour ago. No birds in sight. No bunnies, either.

Northport Creek today


Dawn said...

We have lots of birds, only one bunny and lately several deer. Not as much snow, but it has been snowing all day today...and maybe another inch tomorrow. We are still covered in ice though, the trees still bent...I'm adjusting to the loss, and still have faint hope that this weekend when it gets to 40 degrees a few of them will stand tall again. Luckily we have had power since Monday. We are the lucky ones...several people here are still without...some are living in shelters. It's a tough time all around.

Karen Casebeer said...

Pamela...These photos are wonderful. The coloring is exquisite. I especially love the one of Sarah looking into the distance for the bunny tracks. The stark black of her coat against is snowy trees is lovely. Thanks for this series. Karen

P. J. Grath said...

Dawn, I was thinking this morning on the way to town and bookstore what blessings I would have had to count if we had lost power. I would certainly be grateful for an almost-full propane tank and a stove and fireplace that run on propane so we can still cook and stay warm without the darned electric starter for our furnace. I'd feel blessed to have plenty of candles and kerosene lamps and a husband who is very handy with kerosene lamps. Of course, I might not have been able to share my blessings online if the village of Northport had lost power. Don't really know. Don't know how it all works....

Karen, I'm glad you like my monochrome photos, but I'm saving the VERY BEST one for New Year's Eve, so stay tuned!