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Happy Christmas Eve


daryl

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The Winter's Solstice has passed and, though we are only now just truly entering into winter, the deep darkness of the shortest day has passed. I can endure - yes, even enjoy, the dark shadows of winter for I know each day is one more step towards spring. Every day brings a bit more triumph for the sun - the days lengthen and the clouds part more often.

This Christmas Eve brings a cold, rather bleak landscape out our back door - the temperatures dropped precipitously over night - taking us down to about 6 F in a matter of 12 hours. 45 mph winds drag the wind chill still further, swirling hazy white clouds of ice crystals over the drifts of hardened snow. Occasionally, the sun peaks out behind thick clouds - turning the swirling haze into a sparkling explosion of bright sparks - then plunges it back, once again into an obsurity of white.

This morning, walking my buckets of warm cat food down to the feeders, with each step, I found myself nearly supported by the ice coating on the top of the snow layers. Then, just as I put my full weight on the ice crust, I would break through in a loud CRUNCH!!!! and sink into the drifts up to my calves. I do not mind, for I have knee high muckluk boots that keep my feet dry and warm. The cats are luckier - they dance along the top of the ice crust, leaving little mark in the swirling top coat. Some plow through the trail I have broken, but the majority are spots of bright color - red, gray/white, black, and calico - against the white snow. They gather in circles around each steaming dish of food - eating as if they may never see food again. They need the calories to keep warm. When their bellies are full, they will dive, once more, back into the deep barrels full of hay and straw that will keep them warm against the snow and wind.

The birds are next - they get suet and sunflower and safflower and thistle. The red cardinals sit along the fence, waiting their turn. The Downy woodpeckers wait - three in a row - on the side of the big oak, eager for a good suet meal.

IF I look closely, I can see the delicate wing marks of the owl in the snow under the bank of oaks near the forest where the wind has not blown them away. It looks like hunting was good last night. The coyote seem to be waiting the weather out somewhere else, as are the raccoon, but a lone possom has left his long-fingered marks in a single lined trail running up past the shed. The marks will be gone in a matter of minutes, though, as the wind continues to polish all into a smooth, white haze.

On this Christmas Eve, I wish all of you a very special day - perhaps spent in front of a warm fire, sipping spiced cider and chatting with friends...or watching fish.... or dreaming of spring. I have my fire going, the cider is on the stove filling the air with the perfume of cinnamon, cloves and apples, and I em enjoying the pleasure of reading a favorite book for the umpteenth time.

Happy Christmas Eve.

:)

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What a beautiful way to have spent part of your day :) Its a lovely peice of writing. May you have a Merry Xmas and a great New Year. :)

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Daryl, dear, you missed your calling - you are the perfect writer, and you always manage to keep us captivated all the way through. :heart I imagined myself in that snowy cold weather, and a barrel filled with hay seems like something wonderful for a cat, with that great smell of hay.

I see snow as well when I look outside my windows! Oh, no, wait, that is snow spray! :)santa I know tonight is supposed to be full moon, but when I looked outside my door last night, the moon was just so beautiful. The air was crystal clear, and yet there was a thin stripe of clouds just barely across the moon, and the sky closest to the moon looked like velvet blue sky. It was neat, especially since there aren't many city lights out here, and I could see so many stars. :thud

Merry Christmas Eve to everybody! Hot cocoa, whipped cream and cookies on this end! :heart

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Merry Christmas to everyone! Today was a cold, gray day where the sun never quite broke through the fog. I dreamed again of moving to Hawaii.... :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful day tomorrow, enjoying good food with family and friends!!

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Well christmas is all but almost over here, twas a nice day, overcast which kept it a little cooler (30C or so). If the sun was out it would have been an awful day, but thankfully it was lovely :)

Had my brothers children over and I still have ringing in my ears :P Got lots of cool presents from people though and awesome food made by mum!

Hope everyones having a lovely day too!

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The sun beamed brightly today, on Christmas. As empty nesters, we woke up later than normal and had a leisurely breakfast. We opened our presents to each other, and then packed up the goodies and trucked off to the retirement home in Rockford. There, I served breakfast/lunch (Brunch?) to over 60 retirees....and was rewarded with soooooo many tales of days gone by. I always mean to bring a recorder, but never seem to remember.

I heard tales of old cars (open on the underside - so the woman's skirts would fill with mud from the inside out), old war stories, old love stories and such. I think I saw about 13847493141648620850984325 beautiful baby pictures, too! It was a wonderful day.

Tonight, we are sitting in front of the fire, enjoying some quiet time again before the next round of madness tommorrow - a trip to visit the various army fellows who could not make it home for Christmas this year. I have been challenged to ping pong games - far more than I am sure I have energy for - but intend to give them my best shot (I hope).

I hope this coming week finds you all happy, healthy and among friends. :)

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I am glad to hear about your Christmas, Daryl. And as far as your very graphic description of feeding the critters on Christmas Eve, I felt like I was there crunching through the snow right along side of you. :)

How did the ping pong games turn out? :D

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