Lady Baby In The Snow

On her birthday this weekend, Lady Baby’s first year of firsts comes to an end. To my joy I was there the day of her first snow! Flakes began falling in the night, and we woke to eight inches with more coming down.

Lady Baby has a warm, puffy pink with white polka-dot snowsuit and matching mitts and booties. Nobody likes to be stuffed into nylon and down, fingers captured and inserted into mittens, boots tugged on, but we “geared up” – and along with Lady Cora – ventured out.

Lady Baby constantly cruises the house these days, reaches up for a hand and walks full-tilt, going quickly where ever she wants, circling from room to room, dropping down to crawl or investigate. But outside, standing on the shoveled sidewalk, she froze in place.

Lady Baby - cautious

Wanting to send a photo to her parents and toss a ball to Lady Cora, I lowered Lady Baby down and put a snowball on her knee to examine. More snow fell past the serious expression on her little face and frosted her orange pumpkin hat.

Lady Baby - curious

When I suggested we try walking, she took just two tentative steps before speeding up toward the gate and through it – chortling all the while – excitement, laughter, and movement combined. We tried out a little snowsuit seat sliding down the small berm by the sidewalk – a tiny foreshadow of her winter years ahead.

Back inside, she examined chunks of snow, fed them to Lady Cora, and then headed to the kitchen door – glass to the back deck and yard – and pulled herself up to look at the falling snow. Now she knows the fun potential of a snow shaker world.

That afternoon while snow still fell, in search of the euphoria it can bring – endorphins from shoveling or skiing or sledding – we loaded up into the winter-ready stroller and headed out again. At the quiet bakery nearby – few people out on the snowbound day – we bought fresh bread and fig rolls.

Lady Baby loved the journey. She held her mittened hand up to the falling snow and giggled when we bumped our way over ruts and clots of snow. Back home on the slight slope of the front sidewalk, we did a little stroller sledding. I pushed it away from me, then it rolled back to chortles of delight.

That evening Mr. Carson found the ancient wooden sled with a little seatback and metal runners that he used to ride in. Mrs. Hughes came home with proper little snow boots, light and warm, and Lady Baby walked about with boots over jammie feet preparing for the morrow.

The next morning we donned our gear – with little enthusiasm from Lady Baby for the robing – but smiles when I plopped her into the warm bunting fastened on to the old sled. We walked the cleared sidewalk out front back and forth a few times, until her head tilted against the seat – Alaska girl asleep in a sled. We walked round and round the block, lots of time to think how many years since I’d pulled that sled.

I love snow, no matter the discombobulation to driving and life. I am so lucky to have had that day – and this whole wonderful year of visiting Downtown Abbey and precious Lady Baby!

Lady Baby - comfy

Twelve Days Before Christmas

By tradition, the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day – celebratory days, Christmastide – and last until the sixth of January. But I’ve been taking liberties with tradition (and the song) and will offer posts for 12 days until Christmas Eve – in a “my blogger friend gave to me” sort of way.

It’s been fun to think of the posts – but challenging to try and represent fragrance or music, and I do love both. When I pack up bright red and shiny green holly for Alaska, I include rosemary, knowing it will bring a different and welcome note to the package. Rosemary for remembrance, for hospitality, for flavor. Like cinnamon, clove, and orange peel – seasonal essentials for centuries like holly – so welcome at Christmastide.

I know you will fill in the fragrance and the sounds at your house to stir your memories.

Enjoy these days – let your spirits rise, and thank you for reading the blog!

Polka Dotted Pear


December Thoughts

Let’s let holiday sparkle scatter into ordinary life this whole month – finding extra time for friends and family, successful shopping (limited) and making (more), and gathering by the fire!

And let the season’s music play! I’m listening to a recording by the New York Harp Ensemble that takes me instantly back to my old workroom in Anchorage. I’m looking though large windows into the back garden, it’s a particular (and rare) sort of winter day, a gentle snow-falling day.

Dusk comes early. The light hesitates at blue before going black. Windows glow in nearby houses. The work lights in my room shine on large tables, littered with Christmas card makings. Something smells good from the kitchen, spices simmering or dinner underway.

Preparation and anticipation create a lot of the flavor of this season. I’m focused, in this memory, working hard because soon we go to the airport and pick up a returning son (he’ll be in the house for five minutes before heading off with friends). And that’s cheerful, too.

Winter here in Washington sometimes surprises me. Pure blue sky, sunshine, and big waves thrilled local surfers on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (the visiting California surfer said he looked at the place “through new eyes”).

But mostly the darkness just is. Some days stay dim and drear, calling for light. Candles on the lunchtime table made the bridal shower at my clever friend’s house extra festive. A city day in Seattle meant midday lights in the art museum’s cheery restaurant, wreaths and greenery at the Pike Street Market, and the brightness of reindeer and Santas near houses by the highway on the twilight drive home.

My workroom is different here – so small – barely eight feet across, a nook off our bedroom. But it works fine, and this time of year things that inspire and things in progress pile up on my tables. And Frances helps – cats love piles of paper and bits of stars and ribbons.

The whole month is a sort of Workroom space – maybe that’s why I love it – imagining food, gatherings, or presents. Time for travel in bustling airports, time to watch “Love, Actually” again.

And busy, so busy. I hope you can savor the things you love about it – December comes just once a year!

Printed Pears