A week ago, we all awakened to a beautiful blanket of white. I found myself giddy and mesmerized by the "new fallen snow."
We are now officially in our third week of winter when north winds blow and temperatures plummet. Weather reports suggest there may be a freeze, possibly even a snowflake or two.
Before Christmas Sam and I were gifted a book "The Christmas Candle," along with a suggestion to read the book together during the holidays. While both of us are readers the idea of reading a book together was a novel idea.
Perhaps we can take a moment to "look into the rearview mirror" as they say. It's certainly been a strange year.
It wasn't until the middle of the 1800s that Christmas was celebrated by most of the people living in America with typical Dutch, English and German traditions of yule logs, caroling, evergreen decorations, church services and a feast on Christmas day.
Here at the Prairie house we've been sheltering for about nine months now. It's not particularly hard when you enjoy being a homebody. Some days pass slowly, but not many.
This would seem to be a good time to discuss hobbies, perhaps even start a new hobby.
This Thanksgiving will probably be different for most of us as some people will be able to gather with family and some will not.
Life's activities have slowed down and fall has come in all its glory. The weather is mild and the colors are vivid. Late evenings often warrant sitting on the dock of the lake and watching as the day fades away.
Everyone loves a holiday, and if ever there was a time we could use more holidays and more celebrations perhaps it would be now. Fortunately, Nov. 11 was declared a holiday in Western Europe during the Middle Ages, known as Martinmas or the Mass of St. Martin.
It was a cool morning, perfect for sipping coffee and watching the world awaken from the front porch. Bluebirds flitted from phone wire to electric pole and back. Woodpeckers hammered a-rat-a-tat-tat.
Last week for three days I took on the task of sweeping leaves off the porches, the deck leading to the lake, and the bridge over the spillway. Piles of leaves fell in batches every night.
I was pleased to see three tall stems of goldenrod full of their golden flowers swaying in the wind behind the fence of the perennial garden. Prairie fields that remain wild are full of wildflowers -- blue, white and gold.
The past week the weather could not have been more beautiful. With the cool nights Harry and Wilhelmina, the cats, choose to stay out all night and chase little critters.
Two weeks into fall and the weather changed. After a long drought with cracks in the ground looking like a road map and the grass crunching like potato chips, the rains came on three occasions. It was more than welcomed.
Outside the kitchen window the wild cherry trees grow with leaves of red, the harbingers of fall. Our trees are freckled with green and red in a variety of shades.
The well ran dry. Actually, the 40-year-old pump just quit. Sam called the well man and asked if it might be still under warranty. Of course, Sam was joking.
Years ago, a neighbor fashioned a loop and hook from a metal coat hanger and affixed it to our gate. The coat hanger has long since rusted. Routinely over the summer, a bag appeared attached to the hanger filled with the best tomatoes you have ever put in your mouth.
Things have settled into some kind of normal around here. Sheltering has been going on six months now, allowing us to develop new routines. Routines that put some framework into our days but are also extremely flexible.
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