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.
"How can this be? Such calm, such peace, such solitude in this world of woe?"
- David Budbill
(From a poem, The Sixth of January.)
Looks like we might have to skate on Chilkoot Lake after all today, as we won't be able to tomorrow, or for a while, if the forecast comes true. I hear the ice is solid, where the skaters have been, although there is a skiff of snow on top and you can't see it clearly, so be cautious. I was going to wait a day or two. But now it looks like I'll brave it-- and bring my life jacket and a rope.
The National Weather Service in Juneau has issued a Winter Storm
Watch... which is in effect from Sunday morning through Monday
* Snow... up one foot.
What you need to know for today from the National Weather Service in Juneau: the marine forecast for northern Lynn Canal (that would be Haines and Skagway).
...STORM WARNING THROUGH TONIGHT...
...HEAVY FREEZING SPRAY WARNING THROUGH TONIGHT...
.TODAY...N WIND 50 KT. SEAS 13 FT. HEAVY FREEZING SPRAY.
.TONIGHT...N WIND 50 KT. SEAS 13 FT. HEAVY FREEZING SPRAY.
.SAT...N STORM FORCE WIND TO 50 KT. SEAS 13 FT. FREEZING SPRAY.
.SAT NIGHT...N STORM FORCE WIND TO 50 KT. SEAS 13 FT. FREEZING