26 December, 2007
deep and crisp and even
Merry Christmas! From Red Gate Farm.
It's hard to believe we've been here five whole days, it's been a blur. But a nice blur, lighted by candles and firelight, enlivened by cold winds and washed down by oyster stew. And sprinkled with nearly all the family we have, all in one place. It's been lovely.
We arrived late Friday night to the usual miracle of the change in seasons when our backs were turned. It's really odd to leave our cozy farmhouse in early September, laying down our tennis rackets, watching the goldfinches dart in and out of the still-green oak leaves, chipmunks skittering around in the green grass, and to return three and a half months later to... snow! A thick foot-deep blanket of perfect white stuff stretching out over the meadows. And no leaves on the trees! We can see from our bathroom window upstairs straight across the road and to Anne and David's frozen pond, a view that's blocked by thick lilac bushes in summer. And we can see our next-door neighbors across the meadow, a house that's hidden by enormous stands of oaks and birches in July and August. The pear tree full of still-hard fruit when we left? Bare, branches shining in the full moonlight. Crazy!
But the house was far from neglected these months. Rollie the farmer had kindly shoveled the driveway for us. Too funny: on the plane over, John laughed and said, "You know what, I had the funniest dream last night: that Rollie came and instead of shoveling the snow, he just hacked it away with a giant backhoe and took the lawn with it." And when we woke up Saturday morning, John laughed again, and said ruefully, "A dream come true!" Not quite the whole lawn, but it was a bit of a bloodbath. Never mind, the kindness itself is worth the whole price of admission. And Anne and David had left a bowl of clementines (specially for John's parents, who were delayed a couple of days unfortunately), and a fridge full of bread, soup, juice, eggs. And our beloved friend Olimpia saved our lives with a basket of English muffins, cranberry bread and jam. Great friends, all.
More soon, but we are all cozy and happy this Boxing Day. How's London?