Dreaming of Summer

Bike-keh

Winters in Minnesota are usually very bright and very, very cold. We had plenty of that in January but now we seem to have hit a warm spell. This would be a good thing, except the warmth has come with rain and cloudy, gloomy days that mentally feel worse than the cold, sunny days and make me yearn for springtime. On days like this I try to surround myself with bring colors or bright locations to fight the depressive dreariness, but today I’m just longing to ride my bike.

The photo above was taken when we got a brief break in the cloud cover and the sun shone in on my racing steed, which is spending its winter in the warmth of the dining room. Seeing it in the sun brings back fond memories of the summer rides where I was so hot I thought I might melt down over the handlebars and two water bottles just weren’t enough to keep me hydrated for an entire outing. It reminds me of lunches at The Tin Fish and the twists and turns of the creek trail. Summers here are short but are truly fantastic. Is it May yet?

Finding Beauty in the Sparseness

Waiting for Spring

While I’ve seen many winters before, this year, as I’m taking pictures and spending more time really looking at winter, I’m struck by the sparseness. Everywhere the branches are bare, the lakes are frozen expanses of empty white snow, the walking and biking paths devoid of people. The is a lot of beauty in the sparseness if one can get bundled up enough to enjoy it. I think when I moved to Minnesota I was so shocked at how cold the winters were that I forgot how pretty it was when the world is blanketed in white and the city sounds are muffled by the snow.  So I’m setting a goal for myself for the next couple of months – I will look for that winter beauty, noticing the intricate forms that the branches of the oak trees make, or the winter feathers of the little birds that frequent those trees.

Warm Feelings on a Cold Night

Beyond the Rooftop

It started snowing around 8 am this morning and it’s still coming down – we’ve got about 4 inches so far. But soon the snow will stop and with the clear skies will come the cold temperatures. By cold I mean that the highs for the next few days MIGHT make it over 0 by a few degrees at the most, and the lows will be in the -15 ballpark. Tonight we’re expecting wind chills that will make it feel like -25, and just as the sun went down I could see the wind picking up and the freshly fallen snow swirling back up into the trees.

So tonight I’m thankful for a warm apartment with working electricity and lots to keep me busy. I’m glad to have a hot meal to eat, and a wonderful husband and two toasty furballs to keep the bed warm tonight. I’m happy to have friends, family and hot tea. In trying economic times like these, where I’ve gotten only a few job leads in the past few months with no prospects on the horizon and hear doomsday predictions each time I turn on the news, it can be hard to remember that I really have it pretty good.

Ringing in 2009

The view out

As the year comes to a close, it’s common to look back on what has happened; the good, the bad, the mistakes, the victories. I prefer to look forward. Forward to my plans for the new year, and to what I hope will transpire. Here in the U.S. we have a new president, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing quite a few changes in the next year. I will be getting a new job (I WILL!) and hopefully doing some travel, seeing new places.

So I’d like to make a toast,
To new beginnings,
To new escapades with old friends,
And to new friends we have not yet met,
May the best of your past be the worst of your future.
Welcome 2009!

Merry Christmas Eve

Glow in the Snow

The gifts are purchased, the groceries are bought, we have a log on the fire, a beautifully decorated tree and Christmas specials on the television. Tonight we plan a nice dinner and some Christmas gift wrapping, mixed with some eggnog and hot cocoa.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!