After we went to bed Christmas Eve, we could hear the wind howling and the pattering of raindrops throughout the night. Before daybreak, it had changed to snow, so we woke to a white Christmas. Aries left for work (casinos never close). Since the weather was so bad, I was glad he emailed as soon as he got there. They'd had to follow three snowplows and a Highway Patrol car (I'm sure glad those guys don't take Christmas off either) all the way over the hill - 25 miles at 20 mph in whiteout conditions. An hour later, he emailed again. Six co-workers were late, one on the same road just a few minutes after Aries was held up when a semi jack-knifed and blocked the road for an hour. My heart goes out to all those stranded in their holiday travels by the weather.
When I first looked out, we had maybe three inches - an hour later twice that. When it let up a bit, I bundled up and went out to get some paths shoveled. With my IPod tucked in my back pocket, I enjoy the workout, out in the fresh air. First, down to the chicken coop, clearing around their feeder and re-filling the frozen water pan. A parade of chickens followed me as I cleared a path past the dog run (they like hanging out in the doghouse, our dog is an inside dog) towards the patio. Then, I worked my way past the garage to the woodpile. Those are the essential paths. After clearing off a bit of the patio, the satellite dish, and back to the deck, I headed out front to do a path to the mailbox, and then cleaned off my car. Chores done, I headed back inside and put more wood in the stove. Watching the finches waiting out the storm in the shelter of a lilac bush outside the window, I called Colorado to catch up on news of the rest of my family.
A few days ago, our neighbor a couple of houses above us was standing in line at the grocery store when the people in front of him won a free 18-pound turkey. They didn't want it, so turned and offered it to him. His landlady, the next street over, offered to cook it with all the trimmings on Christmas Day, and we were invited to join the feast. After another pass around my paths in the afternoon, I walked up to help with the meal preparations. Other friends and family came later, and Aries came up when he got home from work. A wonderful time, good food and friendship, was had by all.