Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Winter slothfulness

Snow falling on cedars. Birds scampering across our outside deck, vying for seeds we scattered. For some reason, two victims this morning, birds trying to enter our sun room and smashing into the glass window. One dead, one apparently survived. There is no grief among the survivors, only continuing competition for free food.
Our cedar Christmas tree is stripped of it's lights and decorations and now sits outside where birds use it's limbs for brief respites. When cardinals come, drab cedars turn back into gaudy Christmas trees. Red, white and green are today's colors. White swirls across the deck. Finches, juncos in numbers; woodpeckers at the beef fat hanging.
Inside, warm, and reflective, I am two weeks past knee surgery. Two weeks of forced reticence and, yes, pain. But I have given myself over to modern chemistry and little white pills. They have helped stay the gremlin while I've watched Kathy carry in firewood, stoke the fire, feed the birds, and absorb other tasks that are normally mine. But, I progress, if slowly.
Rock Eddy Bluff Farm is closed and will be for several weeks. I have fallen backward into sloth and indolence, while outside the birds struggle and flit in the cold whiteness. Nearby, green cedars frame a snow covered landscape running onward to a grey horizon.
There is a certain zen today, one of simple awareness.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Hired Man goes to the big city

It was kinda like "Goober Goes to Chicago." Every once in a while we have to load up and head into a metropolis just to see how the other 90% lives. Well, we just got home from one such foray. (I drug along the Missus, the daughter and son-in-law, and two grand kids -- 1 and 3 years of age.)

Transportation was provided by Amtrak and then Megabus on the return (look it up - ) Our hotel was of a class that was clearly above our station in life, but it had excellent views of the Chicago River and the skyline of Chi town.

Well, we just had an excellent time and nearly froze our collective hineys off. Boy Howdy, was it cold. (When was the last time you heard Boy Howdy'?) We had two and a half days in town, but ran out of time quickly. Here is what we saw:
  • Millennium Park
  • Macy's Christmas windows and Santa
  • The Science and Industry Museum (5 stars)
  • The Shedd Aquarium
  • The German Christmas Market
  • "Precious" at the Movie Theatre
  • Quite a lot of town thru the taxi window.
Here is what we learned:
  • Those city fellers sure know how to charge a lot. (Or, as they say in the country, "They's real proud of their stuff.")
  • No matter where you are you can get a taxi quick.
  • There is a real good reason that they call it "The Windy City."
  • Big Cities are really kinda neat -- enough to spend up to two and a half days.
  • There sure are lots of things to see and we'd like to go back again once we save up some cash.
  • It is so much fun to have a Christmas break with family.
  • Little grand kids are wonderful but very tiring.
The trip got us in the Christmas mood, so we are sending along a heartfelt "Happy Christmas" to everyone.

From down on the Bluff, The Hired Man