Monday, January 19, 2009

Putting the House to Bed

The cold and snow of the last month has concentrated the mind and the movements around here have contracted. The paths to the store and the barn and the vehicles must remain clear. The driveway must remain clear. The bird feeder has done its job for the usual chickadees, goldfinches, and nuthatches. Very few juncos this year. Cedar waxwings love the tiny crab apples on the trees that I got many years ago from the Arnold Arboretum. Whenever there came a day above freezing I was in the store with the woodstove going, restoring stringed instruments. Other days in the house, reading and writing and preparing for the semester that will start in a couple of days. The house will be put to bed for the winter, the pipes drained, the oil furnace shut down. If I return in midwinter it will be to a cold house to get something left behind. We always wish the house well during this period, safety from falling tree limbs or from youngsters who would throw stones and break windows, even break in only to find nothing of $ value that could be taken. Leaving this winter nest, then, for another one several hours south, we give thanks for the shelter and inspiration it has provided since the late spring, and wait for the coming year in continued hope.

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