Monthly Archives: February 2014

For Country

All. For country.
Nothing. Self given.

Video

Lunch Time!

As far as I know, this reaction was not planned. The twins were playing, then they heard the toaster ‘pop’, and Theodore quietly asked, “It’s lunch time?” I said, “Yes, it’s lunch time.” Instantly both of them, from different areas of the house began jumping up and down while screaming, “It’s lunch time! It’s lunch time!”, many times over. I grabbed my iPad for a video opportunity and caught the end of their celebration…

After making the toasted sandwiches, and witnessing such a celebration, Jacqueline told me she wasn’t even hungry. I laughed. Theodore did eat his sandwich though. Today featured a joyous lunch time even though some did not actually eat.

Once in a lifetime

Sometimes a moment or even an opportunity comes along that almost seems too good to be true. And sometimes, it is true. And then still other times, it’s true, and better than good. Thank God that reality doesn’t get hemmed in by the parameters of my small mind.

Not too long ago, I had a once in a lifetime moment that lasted nearly one full week. All I can say is that I’m thankful for those I shared it with. I’m thankful that God gave me the wherewithal to sit quietly (some of the time) and enjoy each minute for all it meant to those around me, and even then I probably missed too much. I’m eternally grateful for my brother’s generosity as I could never repay the cost of bringing the moment to reality for so many of us. So much further than that, I could not begin to put a price on the memories shared daily with me. Nor could I replace with anywhere near the value, that which I still hear two months later, in commentary oozing with excitement and pure joy almost every day.

No matter how, no matter where, no matter when, no matter who, no matter what, that once in a lifetime moment will always stand alone. I hope I never forget it. Those of us fortunate enough to be there and experience it together will never let us forget it. I know I’ve said thank you, sincerely, many times over, but somehow it still feels like that is not enough. So, this humble attempt to put into words, my thanks, and the depth of experience our once in a lifetime moment together means to me, might fall short too. It’s been on my mind since before we ever gathered for the moment we all shared together and I imagine it will stay with me for quite some time.

Again, I say thank you. There will be moments described as “once in a lifetime” in the future and they’ll be accurately described. But this one will always be it’s own. It’ll grow in time, and lore will only reinforce the true joy we experienced once in a lifetime, together.

Selfie from a snow blower?

Yes, over the last several weeks, my snow blower and I have become rather close. But today I think it went a little too far.

After another day of clearing snow from my nearly 400’ long driveway, I thought I was done for the day. Then a beep alerted me to an email I had received. It was a picture message from a number I didn’t recognize. It turns out it was from my Ariens Deluxe 30 in. Electric start gas snow blower. The snow blower snuck out of the garage, used a camera from who knows where, and snapped the ‘selfie’ below. The message simply read, “You’re welcome”. And for it’s awesome services this season and for 4+ years so far, I say, “Thank you”.

My Ariens poses next to some of the 36+ inches of snow we have received in the last 15 days.

My Ariens poses next to some of the 36+ inches of snow we have received in the last 15 days.

Midnight Ice

Looking east at a near full moon, just before midnight. It’s not the best picture, but I thought it was pretty.

004 (1133x1700)

Black Brook in Winter

The temperature was 21 degrees Fahrenheit. With the 10-20 MPH winds, the wind chill made the temperature feel like 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The snow was almost up to my knees, and even higher when I broke through the various levels of crust and ice beneath the fresh powder. Thankfully the sun was shining but the forest canopy filtered most of the rays from reaching the snow on the ground. Regardless, I wanted to walk along Black Brook in Winter. Walking in an around the many hemlock trees there was much less snow, but there was a lot more ice under the snow.  There were bowl-shaped areas among the trees as most of these trees are where the deer bed down in numbers.

Mostly I just wanted to see the water flowing beneath, around, and sometimes over the ice. I wanted to listen to nothing but the sounds of the wind and the water. And that was all I heard, other than any noise I created, which I tried to minimize. I ventured as close to the edge as I dared and sometimes that took me out onto an ice shelf that was a foot thick and only attached to a larger patch of ice that resulted from water that had gathered and frozen in the bowls that deer had created near the water’s edge. Walking was quite difficult in some areas, but that was expected. The silence was fantastic and the views were wonderful. I brought my camera on purpose and hoped to catch some of the beauty of this little stretch of land along our property.

Forecasters are calling for 6-8 inches of new snow tomorrow and these pictures will be completely redefined, just 24 hours from now. Maybe I will venture down the wooded hill to the water’s edge again, and see just how much change took place. For now, enjoy, as I did.

003 (1700x1133)

015 (1700x1133)

014 (1700x1133)

002 (1700x1133)

009 (1700x1133)

The bottom of the snow man

Okay this is one of the cutest things I’ve heard in a long time. After pointing out numerous icons, pictures, and various graphics on a map of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we came to a picture of a yeti. I referred to it as The Abominable Snow Man from the holiday special and that some people call it a yeti. Anyway, just minutes later as I playfully chased the twins down the hall, Jacqueline stopped me and said, “Dad, wait. Chase us, but be the bottom of the snow man.” It took me a second before I smiled and resumed chasing them, but I was now being the abominable snow man.