Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brrrrr! It's been doing this all day and there's no sign of stopping. It's a heavy, wet snow that gathers along the tops of tree branches and power lines, making the world look like an exquisite etching.

Having lived through 12 Maine winters, I know to have a candle lit, a flashlight handy, a stack of wood by the fireplace, and a tub of water ready.

All day I've been racing against the storm, trying to complete this week's yarn review for Knitter's Review before the lights—which have been flickering ominously—finally give out, taking out my Internet connection with them. I do have a backup, which lasts only as long as my laptop battery. Tick tock, tick tock.

For all its troubles, I must say I do enjoy living in a place where I am regularly reminded who's boss (nature) and who isn't (moi). You can forget it briefly when you go into bigger places that we've covered with concrete and big buildings, but here? Not a chance.

Monday, January 3, 2011

"For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."
T.S. Eliot

I chose to begin my year with the world's greatest buttermilk biscuits, my tried and true comfort food that makes any morning an event. And I served them on a plate I found carefully wrapped up and stored away in my great aunt's barn - a barn that she filled with boxes from her parents' house after they died...a house that was, itself, filled with their parents' and in-laws' belongings. Which is to say it's an old plate.

My great grandmother most likely bought it (and its 7 companions) in Germany at some point in the late 1800s. The complete lack of any dings or scratches whatsoever suggests to me that she kept these plates stored away because they were simply too pretty to use. This tendency to squirrel away life's fineries is a family trait that I appear to have inherited, because there those plates have sat, hidden away in the back of my own china cabinet, for more than 10 years.

And that makes me wonder how much of life I'm squirreling away for fear of scratches or dents, heartbreak or failure. How much of life have I captured prematurely in a jar before it could reach its natural conclusion? While the natural conclusion of a plate, I assume, would involve gravity and a loud crash, life doesn't always follow suit. And you won't know unless you try.

So that, my friends, is my resolution for this year. To pull myself out of the cabinet a little more often, see the world for its possibilities, take risks, and try. How about you?