Friday, January 13, 2012

no optimists in Iowa

And so it begins. Yesterday the barometer began falling early afternoon and we farmers know what that means.  Some kind of moisture, something watery will be falling soon. There was still time for a late in the day stroll with the four-year-old girl and her purple-pink Barbie bike. Her winter togs are the same shades and she matched the sunset, an Easter egg sunset. Our jackets were wide open and mittens and hats were stashed in coat pockets, it was a balmy day by Iowa standards for January.

Today it is all grey and white and the sharp black silhouettes of trees. The grandsons are busy pulling on snow pants and new and bigger boots and I have a new pair of boots myself that need a trial walk.  So out I go and a fine skier's snow bathes my face, the soft powder excellent for fast moving wood or is it Plexiglas.  I have no desire to send this old lady body racing at trees and things on two narrow planks at ferocious speeds.  We have been chortling over the amazing good fortune the weather gods have been directing our way since the calendar officially said winter. On the off moment we fantasize, what if this is it?  What if snow never falls?  But we are midwesterners and we tend to expect the worst and if if doesn't happen today, it will happen tomorrow or by Tuesday at the latest.  We are not optimists in Iowa, we are prepared to suffer but we won't talk about it at great length.

And it's a good day to stay in the kitchen thinking of reasons to keep the oven going.  Stewed chicken and vegetables, throw in a little heavy cream and thyme sprigs to keep it interesting and a pie using the last of the September apples.

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