I sat watching birds visit the bird feeder in front of the large living room window. Cheerfully, they darted about between the feeder and nearby pine branches, apparently impervious to the arctic cold that had enveloped Central Wisconsin for the last few days. A brisk wind carrying a load of powdery snow whistled around the corner of my house. The snow settled like dust on two nuthatches and a chick-a-dee who were busy scratching and pecking at the frozen seeds. The surprise shower of ice particles didn’t seem to bother them.
I shivered, partly in sympathy for them and partly because cool air was blowing from the register next to me. Counting to ten, I thought, “Wait for the warm air that will eventually come; one, two, three…” I missed everything about my wood pellet furnace, except its messiness, the hard work of keeping it clean, and having to handle two tons of pellets multiple times each winter.
My daughter Tammie walked into the living room carrying two cups of steaming tea. Handing one to me she commented, “The wind is really blowing the snow around. I’m glad I don’t have to drive back to the cities today.”
After attempting to take a small sip of the scalding black tea, I ruefully pointed out, “It’s hard to believe that the tide turned on December 21st. For over a month now, we’ve been in slack tide.” Continue reading