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Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

The Dickens

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. 

Charles Dickens

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Spring comes slowly in this fickle climate.

March is a mercurial month with spits of sunshine and snow and a gasping wind that catches its breath, holds it, then blows with all its might. Those leaves of Autumn we thought we raked are tossed about like a a newly dressed salad and one is often playing a muddy game of pick-up-sticks after 50+ mph winds.

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So it is here on the Cutoff. A waiting game. Anticipation.  Those of us who have lived our lives hereabouts know that several feet of snow can still fall down. It is tornado season and rivers can rise. Hard freezes can cruelly halt the growth of blossoms and Mother Nature can stomp her feet and proclaim “No. Not yet!”

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Still-in-all, Spring brings hope and joy and childlike glee. We toss off our wraps of winter when we can. We muck about in the mud and we have a Dickens of a time on the first day of  Spring, knowing IT is coming.

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Irish Blessing

“May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.”
Irish Blessing

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Love is an active noun . . .

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring.

It is an active noun like struggle.

To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”

Fred Rogers

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

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 It is a often a chore to embrace beauty in winter, especially when it is bitterly cold with a shameless wind that bites through layers of fleece and wool and even  our mere determination to get where we must go.

I remind myself, on these outings, that this winter is nowhere near the challenge of our past two winters. The mud, the patches of snow, the ice – all are mild compared to three feet of  snow to push through or the days upon days of freezing temperatures that the last two winters brought.

On Wednesday, I went out in the early morn to 1 degrees (F) temperatures. On Friday, my day started at 40 degrees.

Here on the Cutoff, we get “lake effect” snow as well as “snow fog”, magnificent sunsets and white-out conditions – sometimes all in the same day. It is what it is, for we ARE in a cold climate, near a large and deep lake, but, there IS beauty to find.

Salt Creek is flowing right now, although there are many sheets of ice. It was frozen the other day. Have you ever seen water frozen on its descent over a dam? It is pretty magnificent. It was from this creek that ice was harvested years upon years past. I’ve always found this an intriguing concept; harvesting ice. We take our ice for granted. Open the door, push a lever, tada! Ice cubes. Open the door, pull out eggs, milk, produce, anything and everything whenever we want. Refrigeration keeps products cold and safe for us to eat. We do not need to go out to the ice/spring house, to the frozen creek, to find get our food, we just have to open the refrigerator, where a magic light goes on.

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I was thinking about his as I drove past Fullersburg Woods. It was too cold and I wasn’t properly dressed for a trek in the woods, but, with no cars behind me, I opened the window and took a few cell phone shots of the old footbridge, which is pictured above. Two hawks were soaring overhead, dancing their primal dance, and a gaggle of the ever-present geese goggled about who knows what?

Later, finally able to navigate the muck and the mud of our own worn acreage, I slogged the distance with a bowl of kitchen peelings, eggs shells and coffee grounds to the haphazard compost pile. There were eyes (and not potato eyes) watching me. This doe was a few yards away. I did not zoom in with the camera. The rest of the clan was rummaging for nourishment in the ravaged lot next door.

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Bowl in hand (I guess I thought it would give me leverage) I made my way further back.

We have a “kill zone” on our property; a spot where we sometimes come upon nature’s leavings. Feathers and bones and remnants of lost life appear. Birds, smaller animals, feathers and such things that were once life here on the Cutoff.

 Earlier, before Christmas, there was a massacre. Tom came across what ended up being two doe. He suggested I not go back there. I could see the amount of blood on the then white snow from the windows, and I heeded his suggestion. Since then, nature has taken its course, and so I wandered back. It was not a pretty sight. It must have been coyote who took these two resting deer and along with other scavenging prey, they pretty much picked the bones clean.

I thought a little prayer and trudged back to the house, retracing my steps in the snow and the mud. As I walked, I silently counted the resident herd, all doe and yearlings, enjoying their late afternoon snacks. I counted. 17. A buck had been strutting about. This fellow is most often seen, the crowned head of the kingdom, though there are at least two more boys who wander these woods. They really are magnificent to watch.

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The trees, the creek, the carnage and the beauty; the endurance of Rachel Carson’s words. Something to contemplate here on the Cutoff.

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Joy is a light . . .

DSCN6855 - Version 4Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness — happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes, when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love. Adela Rogers St. Johns

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A little Muir

This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

John Muir

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“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers

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is a delectable form of defeat”

Beverley Nichols

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