Our winter continues. Each day begins with clearing the steps. Each day ends with clearing the steps. In between we shovel out the mailbox, because we are fond of snail mail and paper news. Miss Sadie and the Cowboy do not even ask to go for rides. They retire to the dog room for a long winter’s nap. The little house in the big woods is quiet.
I write. I read what I write and conclude that no one else will want to read it. I save up errands and run them in batches between bouts of blowing snow. I come back with fat books and quantities of provisions. I make soup. Yesterday it was chicken noodle with vegetables. Nothing makes me feel quite so secure as a nice soup thick with noodles, with plenty of leftover chicken for sandwiches. I’m rich, I tell you, rich.
I am becoming a slug. Bruce the Weatherman noticed that production was slowing down at Torch Lake Views. He decided to Take Measures. Last night he sent me a photo essay on Winter in the Township. During the 15 minutes of sun that we had yesterday, he managed to capture the road into Barnes Park at its winter best.
He also found time to check the ice cover between here and Northport. On Friday he couldn’t see open water anywhere—just cold blue shadows.
He also cleared snow from the 50 steps that lead down his bluff to the beach, only to find that there was nowhere to go on the beach. The snowpiles in front of the steps are as tall as Bruce himself, and another drift 20 yards south appeared to be about 12 feet deep. I may investigate with my snowshoes, he wrote, but I wonder if people have been known to disappear in deep drifts.
They have been known to disappear, Bruce. My friend Katy went out to tend the horses and found waist-deep drifts between the house and barn. She persevered, and halfway there she fell down. I thought “this is it—I’m going to die here,” she told me. Then I thought the paper would report “Elderly woman dies in snowdrift” and I thought I’d better get up. From which we can infer that all a person has to do to accomplish difficult things is to find the proper motivation.
That was all yesterday, or perhaps the day before, I lose track when I’m in the middle of a fat book. Today Bruce is competing in the White Pine Stampede. You might think a Geezer would have more sense, he wrote. I don’t know about that. It is possible to come to grief in any number of ways. It is also possible to come to joy, and we might as well go do that.