The bird feeder has a white cap on its top the size of a soccer ball. The chickadees and finches are pulling seeds out of the top half of the feeder, perched as they are with chilly little claws on several inches of snow packed down by their repeated visits.
The chokecherry bushes in the front yard are bent to the ground like ballerinas doing their warmup stretches, and the small pine trees appear to be practicing yoga poses. The tops of the large trees are swaying in the wind, but their lower branches are so heavy with snow that they don’t even move. The tomato plants, whose last fruits were still happily ripening two days ago, have disappeared beneath a snowdrift.
Our power was out for several hours this morning, but thankfully, it came back on and has stayed that way. Given the heavy, wet snow and the wind, I wouldn’t be surprised if it went out again. With a wood stove downstairs, we certainly aren’t going to be cold or hungry. The only real deprivation is—gasp!—no computer or Internet connection! I was starting to suffer from withdrawal symptoms: anxiety, a strong need to check for updates on Facebook, and an acute absence of spam email messages. It’s a good thing the electricity came back on before I broke out in hives.
All that aside, I don’t know which I’m more grateful for—the utility workers who are out in the storm working to repair broken electric lines, or the fact that I’m not one of them.
When we left here ten days ago on a trip to the Southwest, it was still summer. It was summer in southeastern New Mexico. It was late summer, with the first fall colors beginning to show, when we got back. And now we’re in the middle of a blizzard that has already dumped a foot of snow on us and several feet of snow on our neighbors in the northern Black Hills. Never mind that my sandals are still sitting beside the dresser and I don’t know where my warm gloves are—it feels a heck of a lot like winter.
Wait just a minute. Wasn’t there supposed to be another season in there somewhere?