You won't find it here.
Because of her faithful reading of this blogger, I'm dedicating this post to my long time friend and former co-worker, Therese.
Here it is Sunday morning and already we've had a full to the brim weekend, and there's more to come. The day is overcast, dismal and around 31 F. The Sunday Advance News is leaning against the back door waiting to be brought in and perused.
Let's go back a couple days to Friday the 12th of December. We awoke to one of those magnificent picture postcard mornings that mother nature paints for us from time to time. The weather has been in the deep freeze for a week and so the river is giving up her heat stores rapidly. The heat rises in the form of steam or condensation if you will. as it floats above the river and drifts toward shore this mist coats the flora and it then freezes and this frost-white coating is the paint with which Mother Nature captivates our romantic/aesthetic nature.
We clicked off some photos, through the backdoor window, of the frozen rain encrusted trees with their attendant wildlife visitors; Mr. squirrel, the bluejay clan, a cadre of gold finches, one starling (who ever heard of one starling in the yard?), two morning doves and the dozens of sparrows and juncos. A greeting card scene in the making.
BTW, did you know that there is a paucity of acorns nationwide this year. What's up with that? It's never happened before, or so they say. I wonder if that means we'll have a shortage of squirrels next year.
There were errands to attend to and groceries to buy, so we loaded ourselves into the car and made our way down Main street toward the river. After stopping to pick up our mail at the post office (no mailman delivery in our village) we continued down the street toward Wrights Marina and to Library. I was driving slow to appreciate the scene unfolding from the freezing mist rising up from the river. As we moved past Tucker's and just before Holleran's old homestead, I peered through the mist and was taken aback by the eerie splendor displayed before my unbelieving eyes: Old Man's Island, enshrouded in frost, rising off Chapman point like a ghost ship was glinting with reflected early morning sunlight. It took my breath away. Then to only add to this wondrous scene I noticed the pines and hardwoods similarly painted white and the panorama was complete.
Heading around the corner toward Spillman's I was hesitating with the accelerator and D says, "forgot your camera didn't you?"
Reaching into my right side coat pocket, I extract my camera, while D. continues: "I brought mine!"
I continue to the top of Chapman Hill turn right on the short cut to the fire hall and down Morris street to the river and pull up in front of the library and out we get. Trudging through the snow we make our way down, to the left of Wright's, and start taking pictures of the scene.
If you'd like to gaze at at even better shot of Old Man's Island through the mist go to D.'s blog, click here:
Then it was on to the 'Burg to the mundane task of daily living. Oops, "Let's go down to ACCO drive and get some pictures of the moisture rising off the river, like clouds drifting upward", says D..
"Mais oui madame, mais oui."
Mother Nature did and outstanding job of pleasing our visual senses, don't you agree? But some times too much of a good thing changes one's perspective. With shades of "ice storm '98" the north-east coast of the U.S. was hammered friday with a nor'easter and an ice storm reminiscent of '98's, leaving hundreds of thousands folks without power. Our daughter and her Josh, who leaves for Iraq this next Wednesday, live in East Greenbush which was/is without power. Their home is heated with electric heat and has no reserve source of heat . They are spending the weekend in a motel that does have power and heat. So you see, Mother Nature pleases with one hand and spanks us with the other.
"ice storm "98.
OK!, (Thanks Alvin) next stop; ATM, then Wally's, P&C, Sunoco, and back to the homestead.
While D. was baking apple muffins and making peanut brittle I was diligently filling out the credentials packet for Staffcare, the locum's agency I'm hoping will keep me employed for the next 4 months, so I could fax it to Clay before the end of his day in Dallas. I don't have a home fax, so it was imperative that I get to the village clerk's office before 1500, when Sandy was going to close up for the weekend. Whew, I made it there by 1435.
Earlier in the morning while reading the Journal I noticed the movie theater was showing "4 Christmases and asked D. if she'd like to go see it. She looked up the trailer online and it seemed like a light comedy, just what we needed to lightened the mood after a stressed filled week.
The evening itinerary was initiated immediately upon my return from the clerks office: drive back to the 'Burg, go to Memories to pay her for the Pizza party she organized for the OR on my behalf, then to Leigh and Karen's to chat a spell and give Karen her birthday gifts and the apple muffins, then the movies, Little Italy for a late supper and back home. We stayed at Mem Ann and Randy's for a half hour, kibitzing about the events of the week. At Leigh and Karen's we met Karen's Dad and Step mom who are staying with until tomorrow. We sipped espressos and talked of various things, including my desire to go to Malta. Leigh loaned me some books he'd gotten from when he Karen and the Bigners went to Malta back in their Navy days.
Off to the movies and a humongous bag of popcorn, no, make that two humongous bags of popcorn. One bag shared would have been more than enough. The movie was funny in many places but also sad and too true to life in others. While I liked the show I can't say I felt uplifted when we left.
Little Italy was warm and the wine, garlic pizza, and antipasto salad were divine. Joseph stopped by to greet and wish us happy holidays.
That was Friday, are you exhausted reading about it? We fell into bed shortly after arriving back home and I was asleep in seconds.
At 9 AM I met my brother at Donut King for breakfast. We talked about the events of the week and what's the plan for Chritmas. The sneaky little duffer paid the bill when I was in the men's room.
Still working on my credentialing packet, I went online to take the NYS mandated Infection Control and Barrier Precautions course. I think I'm current (we have to update every 4 years) but rather than take the chance I went ahead and completed it and now it's on file with the State. It took me a total of 3 1/2 hours to read the course material and take the test, but we interrupted the task for an hour to drive over to Maryann's and get our Christmas tree (D. says it's akin to a table top tree. Mare's trees were less than attractive this year, she got screwed by her supplier. So we trimmed one down and I think it'll do fine, we'll just put only 1/2 or less of our ornaments on it. ;-)
After taking and passing the test, I started filling out the credentialing packets for two other locum's agencies and some licence applications until D. yelled up and said it was time for me to get in the shower and get ready to attend Bonnie and Dick's Christmas party.
Who are Bonnie and Dick? They are the folks, center rear, in the above beach photo. This is the photo on their Christmas card this year. We spend the summer living next door to them at the river house. The rest of the people are their children in-laws and grand children. They are a remarkable and fantastic family; just down home good hearted people and blessed with and abundance of artistic talents. They are no less adept in the field of business. Every Christmas they throw a party and invite the entire north country. Bonnie's house, a beautiful old Stone structure any time of the year, is worthy of a special edition of Better Homes and Gardens. I kid you not, Martha Stewart would drool if she ever came to Bonnie's party. The catering by Kathy is just right to set the festive mood.
This is one of the three trees Bonnie decorates each year for the party. This picture was taken at last year's gala.
Let me rephrase that. This is one of the three trees on display in Bonnie's home.
Lots of friends, a festive spirit with plenty of reminiscing and good will exchanged. Therese and I chatted in front of this tree last night. Her husband,Chuck, says she is a faithful reader of this blog. I'm grateful for all my readers, and to all; commenters or readers only.
I've probably left something out but I must leave immediately for a twelve o'clock meeting at Karen's to map out the Philmont trek for next summer with our Venture crew.