Road Trips Aren’t for Sissies
This week has been a week of travel and arrival. So, so lucky we weren’t leaving by plane and planning to fly through Atlanta. Poor Atlanta had a power outage that seems to have affected hundreds of thousands of travelers during this holiday time. We chose to go by car because we were bringing Wyke with us. Two long days of travel with two nights in two very accommodating hotels and on the third day we arrived in a light snow driving through the backroads of Massachusetts and New Hampshire to finally arrive on the mountain. We are in New Hampshire for the Christmas holiday with our daughter and grandchildren. We arrived to a warm and welcoming home with a fire going in the woodstove, the decorated tree in the living room, a stew simmering in the crock pot and a glass of wine or spirits. Happy, almost grown-up, grandchildren greeted us with big smiles. Katie greeted us with the Christmas Cold!!! To complete the picture there is about a foot of snow on the ground and more to come. I feel as if I am on vacation which, in fact, I am. It is lovely to be here.
Walking on thin Ice?
One of the reasons I love our winters down south is the lack of ice on the roads when I walk. I had forgotten how tentative I can be when I am unsure of what is underfoot. My first big walk here was around the reservoir in Hartford, Connecticut. It is a gorgeous walk with views out over the city of Hartford from Avon Mountain. Wyke and I walked in the woods for the first part of the walk and I was able (though not legally) to let him run off leash for most of the first two miles. It was only when he decided that he wanted to go swimming with the geese that I put him back on the leash. I have already had the goose and water adventure with him and was not looking for a repeat performance. What I did notice was how much ice was under the snow. I have my poles with me but can only use one pole if I am walking Wyke. The pole(s) give me a little more confidence but I am still afraid of falling. My next walk was down a lane quite near Westerly which is the name of Katie’s house. We set off about 2:30 in the afternoon and were thoroughly enjoying our adventure again on snow and ice until I heard gun shots. That adventure was quickly turned around and headed back home again. Libby looked up hunting season and it appears that it doesn’t end until the 24th up here. So, no woods thank you.
The following day I decided to do one on my favorite walks around Pleasant Lake in Wilmot, New Hampshire. It is 5.5 miles and circles a beautiful lake that is surrounded by homes that remind me very much of our lake in Canada. I have loved that walk for years when Katie and I used to do it as a training walk back in 2002 for the Avon Breast Cancer 3-day. I have done it off and on since then and every time of the year. Wyke was on leash but I used the retractable so he got plenty of exercise as did I. We ran into a flock of wild turkeys who skittered across the road and into the woods and then flying up into the trees to get to safety. It was a magical walk for us both. The ice is just forming on the lake and it was making its singing song when the wind blew. A nice long soak in a bath afterwards thawed out my frozen muscles. The cold weather makes walking different and so do the layers of clothes in addition to the winter walking boots that are wonderful in snow but not so great on ice. I have some terrific cream for my face to protect it from the cold and to minimize any redness. It is called AKILHIVER and it works like a charm. You can buy it on Amazon (of course). If you have sensitive skin, and I do, it is important to protect it from the cold and humidity. Thursday’s walk was in 24 degree weather and I really felt the difference. I think my whole body is in shock. However, the sun was out and the sky was bluebird blue so we both enjoyed it very much. The only way you know I was on the walk is to see my shadow in the photo with Wyke – it’s our way of taking a selfie!
Sometimes the perfect moment happens and you want to hold onto it forever. I was lucky enough to have one happen this week. Margot and Hadley are in Portsmouth and Jackson, New Hampshire for Christmas which is close enough for them to get over to New London for a night. They did that on Tuesday to come and see Libby’s Christmas Concert at school and to have a visit. Margot was in the kitchen having arrived with the intention of making her famous egg nog, everybody else had to be in the kitchen doing something at the same time. There were giggles and laughter coming from everyone and I just happened to come around the corner to catch them all together.
From the Longest Day to the Longest Night
December 21 is the shortest day of the year in our part of the world. There is a sense of peace and quiet as the woods are asleep for the winter with the only signs of life being the cardinal and the blue jay and assorted juncos and chickadees at the feeder. Oh yes, and the ever present squirrel who sits on the feeder in front of the big picture window, teasing Wyke who thinks he can bark at him to get him to play. It doesn’t work Wyke and the squirrel pays no attention. I think Wyke misses his cats and really hopes this guy will play with him. Not sure!
Along with snow storms, ice storms, no electricity and an expected BIG WHOPPER on Christmas Day, we are snuggled in with the fires going and waiting for Santa.