Happy New Year!
I was hoping for a little snow around here, but Nature had other plans. The moisture and the cold air were not in sync; one choosing to come early and the other to blow in late. So we had a lot of rain–perfect for reading, snacking, and snuggling with cats–followed by a blast of clear cold air–perfect for walking, sky watching, and snuggling with cats. Being on fairly high ground, we didn’t suffer as much as some from flooding. A few towels in the basement stopped the little bit of seepage that we experienced. Others to our north and south and along the rivers were not as fortunate. Many communities were evacuated as the water rose quickly around their homes. Drivers attempting to cross flooded roads were swept downstream, and livestock drowned, having nowhere to go and farmers unable to help them in time. The swift and powerful force of water is hard to gauge, especially at night.
For me, the rain brought time for guilt-free reading. I have three new books: The Martian, Yorkshire Shepherdess, and Stillmeadow Calendar. All sounded so good in very different ways, so I just began all three. Different books for different moods. Plus, I’m determined to read more books for fun this year. I’ve taken the plunge and set my Goodreads 2016 goal for 36 books. That probably doesn’t sound like much to most book lovers, but I will be very happy if I make it. Besides, I have friends to encourage me:I mean, really… what more do you need?
At last, the skies cleared, and there was no [good] excuse for not getting outside and taking a refreshing walk. We’re lucky to live near several sets of old train/trolley tracks that have been converted into walking/biking paths. These provide a more peaceful and relaxing alternative to navigating streets and sidewalks. And, the views are beautiful.
Here’s Joe all bundled up and looking very professional with his hiking poles. I have yet to master these.
As I mentioned, the cold air brought with it clear skies–in this case, the crystal clarity of a piercing blue sky. Usually, I find myself looking and waiting for interesting clouds and colorful sunsets before I get the camera ready. This time, the stark bareness of the trees against the rich blue sky was almost hypnotic.
Look at the patterns in the craggy tree branches, especially that central oak. Amazing!
And so, as I think about the new year, I am excited about what it will bring. If nothing else, it brings opportunity… opportunity to see new places, begin new projects, and “finish up” old ones. Joe says that my projects are never really finished. Perhaps he’s right, but I look at that as a good thing. The creative part of me always sees new ways to modify things and new projects to try. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time, and you never know what you’ll discover. So, welcome, 2016, where will you lead us?