Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

First light today ~

Because the dogs wake me at around 5:30/6:00 A.M. every morning, I see some wonderful first lights. They go outside to the bathroom first and then they get their breakfast. Once or twice a week I am often on the road to Sandusky or Harbor Beach for my own breakfast before the snow plows have removed ice and snow from the roads. Most of the time I see only one or two cars/trucks on the way. Depending on the timing, there are sometimes huge stainless steel milk trucks carrying milk for yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, etc.

In the winter I don't get phone calls from friends who are happy to visit when the weather is nice in the spring, summer, and fall. Do I get lonely? Yes and no. I read a lot in the winter; however, the rest of the year I am too busy when I can actually work (it's not really "work") outside. The dogs keep me busy and happy now. I talk once or twice a week with my brother David and his wife Carolyn who live in Rhode Island. Jennifer calls me several times every day with dog world news. I hear from Kathy bi-monthly. They complete me.

I have three neighbors immediately to my north: a Royal Oak architect couple with a cottage they modernized and visit during nicer weather; a retired dentist who grew up in Royal Oak but had his practice not far from here and his wife who teaches at a community college not too far away; and a new neighbor who works at a credit union on Woodward near 11 Mile in Royal Oak and has children and grandchildren. They are fixing up the cottage they bought last summer. I hardly ever see any of my neighbors in the winter. I do see the USPS lady as well as the UPS and FedEx folks. When it snows, Rick plows my driveway and the common road in that I share with my southern neighbors.

Can you identify the bird in the two photos below? In my north forest there are four suet feeders which are visited by chickadees, several species of woodpeckers, and two species of these birds. One crawls head first up trees, the other goes head first down. I love my camera but it does not have a telephoto lens. Clicking enlarges photos a bit.

It has taken about a week for the concrete to set on the floor of my new crawl space. Last week after it had been poured, the cement blocks for the walls were delivered from Port Huron. I LOVE watching the progress.

Darin and Greg came up earlier this week and worked in the west end of the pole barn. Progress! The two work benches are done and the ceiling is almost finished. I bought some curtains for the two new windows and I hope Darin will hang them for me when the walls are done. " - - - the kindness of strangers." (Except at this point they are not strangers but it's still a good T.W. line.) Greg has asked if he can bring his family up next summer - of course!

Workers don't come often which is expected and normal but a little frustrating. I have had seven major construction projects in my life so I am well aware of how things work; I am patient and understanding.

Holidays are unhappy times for me. I just try to get through them.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years must be endured - alone. There are so many programs on TV from Thanksgiving through the end of December that remind those of us who are alone that holidays are for family and friends - those sad syrupy, specials that start out unhappily and then end with crowds of happy people sitting down to a big meal at a large dining room table - sigh! Who do they make those movies for? People who have gatherings like that are with their families and friends and therefore don't watch them. Those of us who are alone do watch them unfortunately.

My spirits lift considerably after January first when the plant and seed catalogs arrive. I start planning my gardens. This year for the first time in a long time I will plant a few vegetables - maybe. I know I have rabbits and deer but I'll try anyway. (The soil removed for the crawl space and spread around the front of my house looks like it might be quite good! Perhaps a fence around it to keep out the rabbits? Hope does indeed spring eternal.)

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