When I heard what happened in Connecticut I couldn't breathe. All those innocent little children, and good school teachers killed-- two of my daughters are elementary teachers-- and now more details emerge. Names. Olivia, Charlotte, Emilie. Where is God in this? I asked a pastor friend, when he called to see if I was okay. He suggested we could pray together over the phone. Episcopalians don't usually do that, and I don't think I ever have done that before-- but it seemed like a better response than sitting alone at my desk sobbing, so I said sure.
The safety elves at the Post Office have covered all the high traffic areas of the linoleum floor in mats, so you can keep your grippers on. (And done a heck of a job decorating, too.)
And the sanding crews are out from Main Street to Mud Bay (with one friendly Henry at my back door.)
Oh my, be careful out there-- the rain and wind has made slick smooth ice everywhere, except I suppose the rink, which will take a few days to recover once the temperatures drop again (they say Sunday it's supposed to be in the teens.) Folks have already taken a few spills, but today it's even worse, so please where your grippers on the ice-- but not on the floor. One friend stepped off the mat in her kitchen on the way to walk a dog, and down she went. He neck and shoulders are still sore.
My husband decided to trim the porches with lights yesterday. It involved loud swearing, wire clippers, duct tape, a metal ladder, barking dogs, and cold hands. At dinner I did not say that the string of lights on the garage is a few feet short, and perhaps could be centered better, since he did such a good job on the porches, and he cut a nice tree while I was at a library board meeting, too. He did say at dinner, that we should have measured the length of light strings and then built the house to fit them. Anyway, here's a Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Postcard:
It felt so warm that I opened the windows to air out the house this morning. I closed them fairly quickly, with heating fuel at 5 dollars a gallon and the wood pile shrinking at an alarming rate thanks to the long cold snap. Also, it is still December, and after a day and a half of slush and rain, we have been granted a kind of amnesty today. The stars were bright and a crescent moon rose this morning over the mountains-- and sun (!) and mid 30s are forecast for the rest of the day, before the snows return tomorrow and last through Monday, the weather service in Juneau says.
I've been banging around in the dark this morning thumbing through old notes and books of poems, hymnals, prayer books, The Rule of Benedict, essays-- looking for a wise thought. There are a lot of writings on Advent, winter, solstice, solitude, Hanukkah,snow, ice, comfort, light. But everything my eyes land on seems too serious, too preachy, too, well, just too dark December-y. When all I really want to say is thank you. Maybe that's the best prayer there is.
It's a lovely, warmer, snowy morning, and the wind has died down. It was so quiet last night I couldn't sleep, but my neighbor was up early and it was her turn to drive to 6am Morning Muscles, and with the snow she was concerned about getting there before the roads were plowed, but she has a nice truck and the snow is dry and only about eight inches deep-- so we made it.
I think the wind blew even harder last night than it did yesterday, and I know the drifts in the Fort are pretty impressive. My friend Fran and I busted through them in my Subaru to get to Morning Muscles at six. Luckily there was a lot of stretching. Last night Pearl jumped on the bed and so I ended up all twisted around and woke feeling like I'd been sleeping bent up on two airplane seats on the red eye from Seattle to NY. The news is that Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins won the recount, and so is now our rep. in Juneau.
I woke thinking of that children's poem, "Who has seen the wind, neither you nor I," since it's wrong, and I can see the wind and have been able to for about a week, although this morning's snow especially, filled in the breezy spaces on a walk across the Siberian plain that used to be my backyard.