Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Woods are Snowy

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
             By Robert Frost (1923

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Thanksgiving was really good for us at the Smith’s.  The meal was fantastic, carb-heavy, and every single dish delicious.  The talk was really witty and intelligent; I made friends with the three children who attended' and there were no tears or quarrels or loud arguments.  It snowed wetly off and on all day, so we left before dark when the temperature was dropping and roads threatened to become treacherous.

I’ve been gift shopping both online and out in the stores – though I didn’t go out on Black Friday, having a strong sense of self-preservation  – and so far, so good.  Found some bargains, even found just what I was looking for once in awhile.   Ann Peters and I went to St. George’s on Friday and set up the Bethlehem Christmas display.  Joseph and Mary are standing at the door to the inn where the innkeeper is telling them there's no room.  We added a sleeping Centurion and an olive-oil shop this year.  And I came up with a cute idea to engage the children: I have some very tiny sheep I use as lambs, and I took one and hid it in the town.  On a set of questions I left for viewers to answer, I challenged the children to find it, saying that anyone who does gets to hide it somewhere else in town.  An eight-year-old girl from Children’s Chapel on Sunday found it hiding among a flock of mixed poultry and hid it again inside the inn – you can barely see it from outside and only if you’re looking at just the right angle.  Clever!

I was going through a desk drawer looking for thumbtacks (I found drawing pins instead, which I learned only a couple of years ago is the word for the tacks with a long head instead of a flat one), when I came across a little laser pointer I’d forgotten I had.  Our cat Panzi used to be wild about chasing the little red dot.  So I pointed it at the carpet where she could see it and found she is still wild about it, if in a feeble way.  She chased it at a slow trot and swiped at it clumsily for a minute or two.  She is very old and alleged to be dying, but is taking her time over it, and keeps surprising us with hints of the youngster she used to be.  She is down to skin and bones, and has this senile habit of bursting into loud cries at random moments, but I guess we won’t ask the vet to stop by with the lethal-sleep needle for a little while longer.

I went to Fleet/Farm over the weekend to buy a real metal John Deere tractor for a great-nephew who is five and has a grandfather who farms.  This one, seven inches high, has a button you press to make it give off tractor-starting-up sounds.   It comes with one implement and you can buy more.  I knew I could get an authentic model at Fleet/Farm.  On my way out I passed a row of artificial Christmas trees and one caught my eye.  It was a blue spruce, rather fat – almost a bush – four and a half feet tall, a size that’s hard to find.  And the price was not as high as I thought it might be.  And there was only one left.  So I put it in the cart.  Our old tree, three feet tall, was getting kind of defeated-looking.   It spent a couple of hours down on the “free” table in our building’s underground parking ramp before being taken away.  Meanwhile the new one is taking up all the room on the little cabinet that usually holds a purse or two (or three) and in /out mail.  I put the lights on it yesterday evening, and I’ll start decorating it today.

The little bit of snow we got for Thanksgiving is being piled onto.  Couple inches yesterday, more due today.  Roads very hazardous.  Brrrr, the chill is not just from the cold, it’s from that moment when you press on the brake and the car begins to slide.


Anonymous said...

It all sounds interesting -- and gave me a thought: what if a creche owned by an Excelsior family turned out to be so valuable that somebody thought it'd be worth murdering over? Just a thought.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I particularly identified with a couple of things in your post, Monica. My younger dog Mystie loves to chase laser lights and flashlight beams and sunbeams and shadows and anything that glows--and even licks our walls to get them to gleam under lights!
And my young grandsons love to visit their Gigi's (great grandma's) farm and ride on tractors and quad-runners.
And lots of luck to Panzi that she lives for a long, comfortable while.

Monica Ferris said...

Back before laser lights, I had a big wrist-watch with a reflective dial that would catch the morning sunlight and make a spot on the floor or wall. I noticed it by accident one morning when our super-intelligent cat Wobbles (she had a physical problem walking or running) saw it and began to chase it. One day I was upstairs in the afternoon and caught the lowering sunlight with it and started Wobbles chasing it. Then she looked at me and saw me wriggling my wrist and came over to sit beside me and watch the light dance up the wall. Then she watched the watch, then her head went back and forth as she made the connection. The light wasn't magic, it was something I was doing. She sniffed the watch on my wrist, watched it make a dancing light, but never chased it again.

Betty Hechtman said...

It sounds like you are on top of things for the holidays. I'm still in shock that it is December.