Happy New Year!
As I sit in my cozy office writing this, it's within a couple hours of the New Year - it's clear and cold outside, 10 degrees - the good news is that it's ABOVE zero, not below zero like last night. It was so cold today when I went to walk at noon my creepers slipped like skates on the ice and I gave it up as a dangerous bone-breaking accident waiting to happen.
It's so cold the slushy roads have turned to rock hard ice under sand that no longer sticks, so every vehicle that goes by throws up a cloud of dust worthy of the Sahara. We'd like to think that even though that road sand is being blown about there's enough of it sticking on the road to keep our cars from sliding off into the ditch when taking a corner too fast, but I don't trust it. We went to Cabot Village to do an errand this morning and some of the corners were a sheet of clear, hard ice - dusted completely clean of sand just waiting for the unsuspecting too-confident driver. And after the recent thaw that created all that ice, there are no snowbanks left to catch out-of-control vehicles. We had no slips or slides, but on the way home there was a car following closely behind me and I'm sure the driver was annoyed that I was driving more slowly than he probably would have liked; plus, it must have been really irritating to be eating (literally) the dust our trusty new snow tires were churning up. A recipe for road rage, I know, but I like to think I may be saving someone from sliding into the ditch at times like that. However, if the person behind me seems too agitated, I always pull over and let them go by - and wonder if I'll overtake them in a ditch somewhere ahead.
As we came down Bond Hill into Cabot Village, we had to stop to let five turkeys cross the road. They were coming out of the driveway leading to the town garage, headed to an apple tree on the opposite side of the road. Half an hour or so later when we came back, they were a couple houses up, apparently "making the rounds" to back yards with apple trees and fruit-bearing bushes. It was very cold in the village, but at least five degrees warmer than it had been at our house. You can see the frosty haze over the village.
Yesterday we were in Woodsville and it was definitely much warmer there than in St. Johnsbury, even, and almost like spring for us coming from Joe's Pond. They have hardly any snow. This picture is of the Connecticut in the Ox Bow region near Newbury. Oh, yes, we had lunch at the truck stop in Wells River. That's a fun place to eat. We hadn't stopped there for a long time. The staff are all very pleasant - and really efficient. They were busy, as usual, but we were seated and served promptly, the food was good, and we were on our way again in no time.
I'm not making any resolutions this year; I gave that up long ago. I don't recall every making one that I stuck to, so it's a waste of time. I know what I should do - eat less, exercise more, that sort of thing - I have a little voice that reminds me every time I reach for a snack or resist climbing the hill (like today) - so starting off the year with those things on a list would be overkill. IF I were to make resolutions, I'd probably resolve to make better use of my time (we never know how much we actually have left); stop obsessing about not having as much energy as I did 20 years ago (who does?); not worry about gray hair, wrinkles or brown spots and just get on with life, doing the best I can with what I have left to work with. Yep, those would be my resolutions. IF I were to make any. Actually, I know I'm really fortunate in so many ways, and every day I'm thankful.
Happy New Year, everyone. Let's hope the "surprises" we all know we'll be faced with in the next year are happy ones; but if they don't all turn out to be fun and exciting, let's hope we are able to face the unpleasant ones with strength, dignity and grace.
Thanks to everyone who comes here to the blog, some of you nearly every day. See you in 2015!