Early December: Winter is here

IMG_7078-1Despite what the calendar might say, winter has settled over central Maine. The ground is covered with snow, which doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave anytime soon. The air is sharp and cold, and by 5:00 p.m., it’s nearly as dark as midnight. The nights are very long indeed.

Clif, Liam, and I do our best to adapt to the short days, but we all suffer from a restlessness that comes from spending too much time inside. Liam actually doesn’t mind the cold weather, and he could be out from dawn until dusk. His humans, not so much. We dutifully bundle up and take the dog for a walk a couple of times a day. But it’s not enough for him, and in truth, it’s not enough for us either.

A few days ago, Liam and I went into the woods to gather pine for an arrangement in an outside deck box. Yesterday, I arranged the pine  along with branches of berries I had collected earlier. I did this outside, where the mess could fall on the ground and where I could throw the ball for Liam while I worked on the deck box. It made me laugh to watch the dog and the ball skittle across the hard snow.

Although my arrangements would never win any prizes, I really do enjoy making them. They might be plain and simple, but they are mine, from beginning to end.

This Sunday, weather permitting, our friends Judy and Paul are coming for an afternoon visit. On Food 52 I came across the decadent idea of baking chocolate chip cookie dough in an oven-proof pan, setting the pan in the middle of the table right after the dough has baked, dropping scoops of ice cream on top, and letting everyone spoon directly iinto the warm, glorious mess. I had thought about making muffins, but this cookie concoction sounds way more fun—more fun than fondue, as my friend Mary Jane has said. So I’ve changed my plans. Pictures will be taken, and if this dessert turns out to be as delicious as it sounds, then this might very well become a winter tradition.

Despite the cold, despite the dark, winter does have its pleasures.


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