Blackstone Valley

GENTLE WINTER WITH HOLIDAY SONGS

It wasn’t a heavy snow. A dusting, really. Fat flakes drifted past the windows through the naked trees, but left nothing more than a frosting. And it was wet snow that quickly melted when the sun hit it. The ground was too warm. Winter has been gentle this year.

72-Thanksgiving-First Snow_22

During the night, the cold is supposed to move in.Our nights have been cold, but the days have been unusually warm for this time of year.

Winter is usually about how many layers you need to wear. Which boots will keep your feet from freezing. Scarves and hats keep the frostbite at bay. How long it takes the car to warm before you can get heat. Remembering to not leave stuff in the car that might freeze.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So far, though, except for a wintry blast on Thanksgiving, it has been mild. Mostly in the high 30s and low 40s in the daytime, in the 20s at night. For you west coasters, this really is mild for New England in December.

The wood steps to the deck are usually too treacherous to use throughout the winter, but so far, so good.

Garry takes weather personally. Cold makes him suffer. He’s a sunshine kind of guy. Both of us were raised in New York and landed here. In Massachusetts. It’s a love-hate thing. Love New England, wish the weather weren’t so harsh.

light snow falling picture windowWe feel weather in our bones these days. Human barometers. We are more accurate than the maps on the weather channel.

This warm spell is a treat, a special gift for our holiday season.

75-Morning-FirstSnow_69

So … no snow right now, but I assume it will come. Or maybe we will have one of those precious snow-free winters. I’m dreaming of a not-so-white Christmas!

SUNDAY AFTERNOON SOMEWHERE IN SUTTON

We were actually heading for one place, but the pond we were trying to get to was accessible only by a private road. Residents only. Rich people territory. This is where we ended up. The only problem is, I’m not sure where we were other than “somewhere in Sutton.”

There were ducks and geese on the pond, as well as a couple of beaver. Kaity got a shot of the beaver, but I was too slow. For all that, it was a good afternoon shoot.

This is the end of autumn, just before it becomes winter in the valley.

WITH GRATITUDE – AND ABOUT THE WELL

Feeling Fancy — You’re given unlimited funds to plan one day full of any and all luxuries you normally can’t afford. Tell us about your extravagant day with as much detail as possible.


Raining

Raining

It’s such a dreary, drippy day. I think it will be teeming soon enough. That’s what the forecast calls for. Almost 3 inches of rain today and flash flood warnings throughout the Valley.

At least it isn’t as cold as yesterday, or all the stuff falling out of the sky would be snow and sleet. It’s dark, too. I keep turning lights on, but it doesn’t feel bright enough. And my head hurts. I blame it on the weather.

I blame everything on the weather. The weather can’t argue back.

It is hard for me to imagine spending unlimited funds on myself for any reason. It has been a long time since I saw money and didn’t think “bills need to be paid.” That’s life in the slow lane, life since retirement, since the paychecks were replaced by pensions and Social Security.

So many things which were yearned-for luxuries have no place in today’s world. Not that long ago, a “spa day” sounded great. Now, it sounds like a long drive through heavy traffic, somebody poking at me, followed by a long ride home. I haven’t had my hair professionally cut in more than a year. Not because there are no hairdressers to whom I could go. It’s that I don’t trust anyone near my head with a pair of shears.

I wouldn’t mind a pedicure, though. That would be nice. I can do that locally. Get my eyebrows waxed. How about dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant? Get the car detailed so it looks good and smells fresh?

72-Heron_137

If we are going to go all out, how about a chair lift so we can stop hauling our reluctant bodies up the stairs? And a pair of senior scooters plus a car-carrier so we can take them with us? That would make life a lot more fun!

Maybe a contractor to fix the stuff that needs updating, replacing, repairing, restoring. Not an overhaul. A coat of paint. New vinyl in kitchens and bath, carpeting in bedrooms. Give the old place a face lift. Since you asked.

I don’t brood on this stuff. We manage. We’re not suffering, though we aren’t getting younger or more spry. But who is?

december bouquet

We have a lot more than many others, so rather than yearning for what we lack, I’d rather dwell on how lucky we are.

It has been an amazing year. I’m alive! That’s a good starting point!

ABOUT THE WELL

With your help, we have a well. Water flowing from the taps. The project is not quite completed. We still lack the well’s top. Probably not going to get that done until spring. But everything else is finished.

The well is working. We have water pressure. Water from the taps is icy cold and crystal clear. It means we can continue living in this beautiful valley of rivers and dams, beavers, ducks, and herons.

So this is a good time to be glad. Christmas is rolling around and I’m here to celebrate. Grateful to have friends who care. Family. And so happy we have each other.

That’s huge. Come to think of it, I’ve got plenty!

BARNS, MILLS, AND EMPTY FACTORIES

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge:

Abandoned Buildings or Barns

The Blackstone Valley is the perfect place for this challenge. Abandoned mills and factories, old barns ranging from total wrecks to beautifully restored. It sort of describes the area, a summary of our history.

LAST WINTER

Winter is on its way. We’ve been warned. A couple of little snows. Just a few inches and now it has melted, so we are back to mud. But that’s because it warmed up and rained last night.

72-February Snow OO_4

In a few weeks, it will stop warming up. All precipitation will be snow or sleet (I hate sleet).

72-February Snow OO_1

Last winter was horrendous. It was bitterly cold and never warmed up enough to melt off. It would melt a little bit, then immediately freeze again until our driveway was a glacier from which we could not escape.

72-February Snow OO_2

Yet. It was beautiful. Snow is beautiful. Living in this valley, when the snow cover turns the world shiny and white looks like a painting, a Currier and Ives illustration. Even the most hardened winter hater can’t help but be awestruck.

72-February Snow OO_3

A few pictures from last winter … antique-style to add just a hint of unreality. I’m down with winter’s unreality, by the way. If only I could stay unreal until spring …

NOVEMBER ON WHITINS POND

Whitins Pond November

Whitins Pond, November 2014

Just when I thought the glorious fall was over for good and all, we had yet one perfect afternoon in mid November. The pond is full again. The rains came and filled it.

house by whitins pond november

Houses on Whitins Pond, almost twilight

While the swans have been absent, mallards seem to be everywhere. Maybe they are taking advantage of the absence of the swans to take over that piece of pond. They were too far for me to photograph, but I could see them. It’s nice to see birds again.

Twilight on Whitins Pond in November

Twilight on Whitins Pond in November

THEN, THE RAIN

It rained hard most of the day yesterday and started off with heavy rain this morning, too. It’s ironic. All summer, it has been sunny and dry. Beautiful weather, pretty much from May through September.  As soon as we got to Maine, it began to rain. Maybe it’s nature’s way of telling me I need […]

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

Reflections on Life through poetry, essays and photos

Living Life Day by Day ...

... and coming up for air

soul n spirit

seeking for happiness in the psalms of life......

Empty Nest, Full Life

Formerly: PostDepartumDepression Thoughts about the "post Mommy" years of life

Talking Horror

Movie Reviews

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

genusrosa

words. matter.

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS

Not just another WordPress.com site, but an extraordinary place to spend a weekend, grill a cheese sandwich and watch a film to improve your life and stimulate a few of the grey cells.

tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

Mostly unfinished stories primarily produced as a direct result of my association with the OC Writers Guild

I'm a Writer, Yes I Am

Martha Ann Kennedy's Blog

Theme Showcase

Find the perfect theme for your blog.

Stuff my dog taught me

and stuff I'm figuring out on my own

Evelyne Holingue

Chronicles, Stories & Books by a French-American Writer

Godless Cranium

Random musings of a godless heathen

Surrounded By Imbeciles

Inside the Mind of a History Professor

THE WRITE PLACE...

...to build a community. Share Patti Hall's journey ...

Enchanted Seashells...Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife

Beguiling pearls of wit, wisdom, and whimsy-with attitude

Evil Squirrel's Nest

Where all the cool squirrels hang out!

Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel

Viewing the World Through the Observation of Squirrels

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,543 other followers

%d bloggers like this: