Friday and Winter-- Already?

I had big plans for my week off of assembly duties, and with Chip away, and the family all well and not in need of much help with anything, and no obits and no deadlines. I am working on a TV show in development with NBC, but that seems to mostly consist of texts and phone calls. I'm also about to sign another book contract with Algonquin, but being me, I'm sort of charging up my batteries until the deal is inked. Silly, but true.  I'm storing up my creative energy for the endurance event that a book is. So instead, I walked a lot, swam in the pool, and made it to more yoga classes in a week (3) than I did all summer, and I'm almost done with a big fat English mystery.

Then it got cold enough to skate (the rink at the Fairgrounds is busy again) and the pond was clear as glass and my friend Tom said I should leave the fire and hike up there before the snowstorm ruined it, and so yesterday my daughter and I walked up with the dogs. The thing is, there was open water around the dock pilings and the shore by the cabin, so we hiked around to the moose stand at the lower end of the pond, the shallow end, and stepped out on it, but the bubbling thuds and gurgles under the ice were un-nerving, and the foamy edge crunched, and the clear ice was difficult to distinguish from water. One stress fracture showed it to be about two inches thick, another four, and another, well, it looked as thin as a long white hair. I didn't have my forks on the string, or the boat cushion and life-line. Tom will roar that we are chickens, but we agreed to  keep our skates in our packs, and had a nice walk back down the old logging road through the quiet woods, in the dusk that is November. Gloaming, this half-light is called. It sounds gloomy, but it's not. It's sort of cozy and makes the days slower than bright sunshine. You have to concentrate to see. Listen. Watch your step. Be present, as my yoga friends say- and I like that.  We met up again at five for a party for Sarah's little sister, and my youngest child-- who turned 27 yesterday. We sipped hot toddies on the porch of the distillery under a propane heat lamp, and watched as the snow began to fall and the children-- two of my grandchildren no less-- tumbled in the darkness, at the end of a day that seemed very productive, in a heart-filling, lucky to be here, and oh, how I do Iove this place kind of way, especially in early winter.



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