This winter is about…

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This winter has been trying. The coldest February on record in many parts of Maine. More snow since mid January than we get in an entire winter most years. The statistics speak for themselves.

But this winter is about more than statistics.

This winter it’s hard to get around. There are huge snow banks at the entrances to roads and driveways that makes driving treacherous. People seem grumpier. In their cars. At the grocery store. At the gym. It’s grinding us down, this winter.

This winter is about isolation and crankiness and tiredness. It’s wearing me out. Twenty-two or more days below freezing (I gave up trying to keep track), so I really don’t want to go out. I love being inside at my desk writing, but I am tired even of that. I reach out to friends, but planned outings often need to be postponed due to yet another snowstorm. For a while we were on an every-weekend then every-Wednesday snowstorm schedule. It was predictable. The weather guys on one channel who usually wear sweaters (instead of suits) for storm days stopped wearing them. They stopped playing the “storm center” music, too.

This winter is about water leaking into the house through a new window. It’s about MEH (My Engineer Husband) coming home from work early last Friday to climb up a ladder and scrape snow off the roof with a roof rake. (We have a two story house.) Then he used an axe to break ice a foot thick off the edges of our roof, all around our house, to ensure no more ice dams formed that would allow more water to leak around the roof shingles, through the walls, into our house around our windows. “The water finds a path,” MEH said before climbing another ladder onto the porch roof to shovel snow off of it. MEH spent the better part of the weekend shoveling snow off the roof.

This is usually water...Casco Bay... that's an Osprey nest out there

This is usually water…Casco Bay… that’s an Osprey nest out there on the pole

This winter is about new words and new ways of talking to our neighbors (that we see more at the grocery store than around the neighborhood). Ice dam, roof melt, roof rake, “the water finds a paths,” and “where will we put it?” become common conversation starters.

This winter is about giving up, giving in, embracing. One end of our driveway is unshoveled, unplowed. We have enough room for our two cars. Why should we shovel more? The end of the driveway (that’s not shoveled) has a five foot frozen-solid berm at the end. Snow is piled everywhere. The mailman used to avoid that end of our driveway; now he just walks through the snow and over the frozen berm.

This winter is about layers. Most winters I’ve worn fleece and (TMI?) sometimes long underwear (on top). This winter I wear long underwear (top and bottom) every day, pants and turtleneck, fleece top and bottom over that. Boots outside. Fleece slippers in. Down jacket everyday. And an indispensable lavender scarf my daughter gave me for Christmas. I often wear it in the house, while under the electric blanket.

This winter is about hats. I knit two hats in January before the historic snow season started. One for MEH and one for me. (No, they aren’t the same—color or style—I write that in answer to the question forming: “are they the same?”…a question my daughter already asked me.) I hate hats. (Especially with all the dry air creating static electricity.) But I wear that hat every time I leave the house.

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These robins found the morning sun…

This winter is about appreciating…

…the sun. Last weekend we had one day of 40 degrees. We reveled in the warm weather. It was a good day. A great day. It made us remember spring. And that spring is coming.

…the landscape that looks so foreign. The water froze over between the mainland and Cousins Island (a town island connected by bridge). Then it snowed over the ice. And the ice and snow got craggy and crazy looking. I’ve loved taking photos of the unnatural looking landscape. The landscape is so foreign that sometimes when I’m driving I miss a turn and find a new way home.

…the birds. Watching the crows roost. Hundreds upon hundreds of crows flying from tree to tree at sunset, looking for a place to roost. I’ve never seen this before. It was amazing. I also watched flocks of robins…I never realized that some robins winter over in Maine. I thought a lot about being a bird and trying to survive outside in this winter.

This winter is about new terrain, new landscapes, new landmarks, new ways of thinking and feeling and acting, new sights and sounds.

This winter is (I hope) almost over.

How’s winter going in your neighborhood? What is winter about for you?

Love Notes: things to love mid-winter

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This photo was from a much warmer day (last summer), but it seemed perfect for a post about love… 

I meant to get this blog posted yesterday, for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t, and here’s why…

Another blizzard. More snow predicted. But here’s the thing: it missed us. (Collective sigh, followed by a cheer.) Various predictions said we’d get one to two more feet of snow out of this storm, adding to the four feet of snow already on the ground. Instead we woke up to two inches! Yesterday was a flurry of activity to get ready for the possible power outage, being snowed in, etc. We even succumbed to the “bread and milk” grocery run, except since we were baking bread and I’m lactose intolerant, instead we bought flour and yeast. (By the way, if you haven’t seen the hilarious bread and milk youtube video, here’s a link.)

Here are a few more things I love this month:

For my post on Writer Unboxed yesterday I asked other Writer Unboxed writers to contribute Valentines to Writing. Why and how they love writing. Check out “Writing…Will You Be My Valentine?” to see the twenty wonderful love letters, poems, and words about writing. I loved compiling this Valentine box of words.

At Great New Books this month I posted a recommendation for Roz Chast’s graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant. I saw this book as a long love letter to her parents (as they went through the aging process). The book is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking and Chast is amazing at expressing feelings through her cartoons. I loved this book.

Lately I’ve seen a lot of Common Ravens. These massive black birds, “cousins” of the crow, are larger than a Red-tailed Hawk, and I don’t see them often in Maine. (I don’t think… they are solitary birds so if I saw one alone, without comparison to another bird, I might think it’s a crow—crows weigh about half as much, but without comparison, this difference is hard to see). You can tell ravens from crows in flight by the raven’s wedge-shaped tail. I saw a lot of ravens in the west when I drove across the country, but it’s really spectacular to see them in the snow. The contrast is beautiful and striking. I haven’t gotten a photo of one yet, but I would love to by the end of the winter.

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Winter is far from over. This is a shot of the Cousins Island Bridge, looking toward the mainland.

Winter…which is far from over, despite the lack of snow from this particular blizzard. We are in the deep chill, with temperatures well below freezing (we’ve had thirteen days below zero in February; I don’t love that). I still go out and take photos, but with clear skies, sunrises and sunsets are less spectacular (we’ve had a few good ones), most boats are out of the water, and it’s harder to get access to beautiful areas—the snow banks are huge.

Another thing I really love today is that it’s only 32 days until the Spring Equinox. And even though I’m sure we’ll still have snow on the ground, there’s a lot of hope resting on that day!

How’s your winter going? What do you love this month?

The Winter of Sisyphus

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Yesterday’s view out our front door

This morning I looked out the window and saw a neighbor shoveling snow. With each new scoop, thrown onto the gigantic pile next to his driveway, at least half rolled back down. I immediately thought of the story of Sisyphus (didn’t everyone)?

You know, in Greek mythology, the first king of Ephyra who was a chronic liar and all around bad guy who murdered and pillaged and…well, read about all the heinous things he did here on Wikipedia. The story goes that Zeus (after being tricked and betrayed by Sisyphus) gave Sisyphus the punishment to forever roll an immense boulder up a steep hill, only to watch it roll back down…repeating this action endlessly.

Yesterday we got another foot of snow, on top of Juno’s (the blizzard last week or was it the week before?) two feet and another smaller storm in between and a few inches or so before that… well, I honestly can’t remember the progression of the layers and layers and feet of snow.

Here’s what I do know. We have a lot of snow. A. Lot. Of. Snow. Feet and feet of it. Spilling onto the porch from the ground (and our porch is three feet off the ground), blocking one end of our driveway (we have two entrances, thank goodness), covering our basement windows (will they leak, who knows?). Encasing one of our cars (I don’t really want to drive anywhere until tomorrow to be honest). Delaying school. Forcing people to work from home. You get my drift (yes, pun intended).

When we texted our daughter a picture, she immediately replied. “Can you get out?”

I mused to MEH (My Engineer Husband) what will happen with the next storm (predicted for Wednesday night into Thursday) and the one after that and the one after that… where will the snow go?

One of MEH’s co-workers emailed his department that she’s working at home again today: “I give up. I want to hide until Spring.”

We all want to give up. We all want spring. Well, everyone I talk to. That’s MEH, because I actually haven’t talked to anyone in person in about three days. I deposited checks (for the first time) with my phone app. I’ve barely stepped outside my door in two days. Did I mention we have a lot of snow, and it’s hard to get around?

Tomorrow I plan to go to the gym, but until then just call me Sisyphus. And the winter is my boulder.

But for what am I being punished?

Is it the plight of the writer, thus to be punished? I’ve made up lies upon lies—lets call it fiction. And now, after stories, pages, hundreds and thousands and millions of words of lies, I’m condemned to the life of Sisyphus, forever rolling the piles of snow up onto the berms surrounding my house, my car, my exit from the life of the hermit writer.

The writing life.

How to Prepare for a “Potentially Historic” Snowstorm

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This is from another (smaller) storm…but you get the drift

The storm is brewing. “Potentially historic,” the forecasters are saying. “Up to two feet.” In Maine, you grow used to this. The storms and the predictions. The rush to the grocery store for bread and milk. It’s kind of a joke (that people focus on pre-storm bread and milk), but it’s based on reality. At least that’s what my checker friend Carol says.

Carol is one of the people I see almost every time I go to the large supermarket in our small town. She’s one of the people I enjoy talking to. She’s engaged with customers, but she’s focused on her job, too. I know she has two sons, twins, who are now adults. She loves reading. She’s always upbeat so I seek her out when I look for which line to stand in.

And I’m not the only one. Yesterday while I was standing in Carol’s line, an elderly woman rolled up behind me in a seated shopping cart. She asked if it was a “14 or fewer” line. I said no. When Carol overheard us, she asked me what the woman had said. When I told her, she smiled and said, “That’s because I’m usually at the 14 or fewer registers.” Because Carol is fast. She’s fast and courteous and positive.

I knew the woman in line in front of me, too. She works for a friend of mine—Mark—who runs a catering business. She’s the best at rolling pie dough than anyone I’ve ever seen. And by best, I mean she can roll perfectly round pie crusts, seemingly effortlessly. Mine? Mine are more like oblongs or amoebas or some other amorphous shape.

Mark is famous (I told Carol) for his chicken pies.

“Oh I know,” Carol said. “Mark and I grew up together. We were like cousins.”

Of course. Everyone knows everyone in our small town. In Maine, too. There are only 1.5 million people in the entire state. Here, we have two degrees of separation (compared to the normal six). You don’t mention the name of someone to another person unless you’re saying something flattering—unless you want a fight or a cold shoulder. And those cold shoulders can last a long time (take it from someone who’s breached the two-degree rule on occasion).

The pie roller paid and left, and Carol started ringing up my purchases.

“You know those leftover edges from your rolled dough?” Carol said. “My mom used to make them into popovers. My mom made the best pies…”

Carol spoke lovingly about her mother’s pies—how they grew all the fruit, how she’d fill the freezer with unbaked pies to be baked mid-winter during a storm. I imagined Carol as a small girl, sitting next to the wood stove eating a piece of blueberry pie that was made from berries she and Mark picked the summer before. They wouldn’t care about the weather outside or a power outage, either, because they’d be warmed by the stove and by all the love that went into that blueberry pie.

I paid for my bread and milk and drove home.

Here’s hoping we don’t lose power—and if we don’t I think I might just bake a pie. I have the ingredients. Carol made sure of it.

How do you prepare for an epic storm…or the threat of one? Do you buy bread and milk?

Do You Believe in Magic?

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Back to the coffee shop… more magic!

It’s all coming back to me. Two days into NaNoWriMo and the drama has begun. And it’s not all about the writing. I’m beginning to think NaNo (or birthing a first draft of a novel) is a bit like birthing a baby. You forget all the bad parts—the physical pain, the fears and the feelings it can’t be done, the fear that something will go wrong, the sleepless nights, the anguish of worry—or maybe you’d never be willing to do it again.

Last year I “won” NaNo. That is, I wrote 50,000 words during the month of November: National Novel Writing Month. Actually, to be technically accurate, I wrote more than 50,000 words. And I finished the first draft of a novel.

Last year I also wrote four blogs about my NaNo drama. In one, I detailed how I decided (somewhat spur of the moment) to commit to NaNo. In one I recounted my injury that I was afraid might sideline me from finishing (I shut my hand in the car door)—well actually MEH (My Engineer Husband) typed that one for me. In one I recounted certain NaNo truths (and lies). And in a final one, I talked about how I won.

Today I reread those four blogs. Believe it or not, I’d forgotten all about them—except the one that talked about winning! I forgot I slammed my hand in the car door. I forgot it was a last minute decision. I even forgot how much fun it was. It kind of went by in a whirlwind to be honest.

Yesterday after my first writing session (I wrote only 782 words—and I knew that to finish the 50K I’d need to average about 1600 a day), I was discouraged. I felt pretty sure that my idea wasn’t a very good one. Then this morning I got up early. I made a pot of coffee and started writing. Before I knew it I’d written a thousand words. Then two thousand. The idea still didn’t feel like the best one I’d ever had, but I was inhabiting the world, I was seeing the scenes in my mind. I’d even identified a song that was emblematic of the story. (It wasn’t  one of the ones from my last post. It’s “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay. It’s now on endless loop while I write. Yesterday I heard it on the radio in the car and I had to turn it off—I started to feel my eyes drift closed, started to feel a writing trance coming on…no, really.)

And there’s more. That drama. It’s all falling into place. Like magic.

Drama.

I forgot when I got up that it was Daylight Savings. In fact, last night I accidentally set my clock ahead instead of back. So did I wake up two hours early?

I made coffee.

I wrote my words (2695 this morning).

I went into the kitchen and a spaghetti squash fell off the counter onto my little toe (as MEH said, “a squash squashed your toe.”

The first snow of the season started to fall.

After I posted a snowy pic on Instagram, I started thinking more about the novel I’m calling TYAAD.

More pieces fell into place, and I fell a little more in love.

Magic.

What are you doing for the month of November? Do you believe in magic? I do.

Cheers,

Julia

p.s. if you’re doing NaNo, too, let’s be buddies! I’m Julia.M.Martin!!

Today I’m Making Snowman-Ade!

MEH and I made this snowman.
Yes, this morning

I’m not going to lie. When I looked outside this morning and saw snow—more than a dusting but certainly not a blizzard—my heart sank.

It’s March 28, people, “you” didn’t warn us. And by “you” I think I mean the weather people, although I’m not sure why… for one thing, I don’t watch the weather….I do look at the NOAA forecasts, the iPhone forecasts, and occasionally listen to the radio. So, yes, THOSE PEOPLE. They said there would be sleet today. A 50 percent chance.

Which does not translate to measurable snow. Not in my book.

And speaking of books, that’s why I’m annoyed. Because I’m a hair’s breadth (whatever THAT expression means) from being done. I don’t like unexpected things, like snow apparently, to happen when I want things to be predictable.

I want my ducks in a row, smooth sailing, no surprises, so I can sit and write and finish and not worry about anything new or unexpected.

Like snow.

Or a potential power outage.

Or undependable weather forecasters.

Or the fact that maybe the real reason I’m upset is that this business of writing? It’s kind of like the snow: unpredictable. Just when I think I’m close, a hair’s breadth, I realize that Chapter 4? It really is too much backstory. And in Chapter 22? My MC would never do that.

And then? Then all of a sudden it’s snowing in my novel and it takes place at the end of summer. What will my MC do? Maybe build a snowman.

So this morning? When it’s snowing? This morning, instead of being upset anymore?

This morning, I’m making snowman-ade!

How about you? What do you do when the unexpected strikes? Are you like me, first thrown for a loop but then figure out Plan B and go with it? Writers: do you make snowman-ade when your writing doesn’t go as planned?

Cheers,

Julia

p.s. and if you (like me) are curious what hair’s breadth means (by the way, I did think it was hair’s breath ’til I read this!)… check out this link!

A Longing for the Morning Glories

This post was going to be about disgruntlement—a complaint and a rant that it’s still winter. That it’s March 4th and we awoke to snow for the second time this week. About how unusual this is, how last year it was spring today.

Then I looked back to my wordsxo post of March 4, 2011, which was: Writing Inspiration from a Winter Wonderland. It was 3.7 degrees. And it made me remember: I live in Maine. And in Maine, we do winter, sometimes for eight months a year. I’ve seen snow in September and snow in April—I’ve heard tell from some old timers that back in the day it might’ve even snowed in May.

And that’s when I realized. I can be as disgruntled as I want to be. But it’s still snowing today, March 4th, and the weather forecast says there will be snow later in the week too.

I keep telling myself to suck it up, that we’ve barely had winter. That it’s such an unusual year that in January and February we had so little snow we could see green grass; that this year even some old timers wondered will winter ever come? One of those days, before a March 1st snow, I found a photo on my iPhone of morning glories climbing the garden trellis.



And I let myself go there: to the garden. Because I had forgotten all about the morning glories! And the sunflowers! I imagined myself this morning, standing outside next to the morning glories, picking tomatoes, and hearing bees buzzing on the sunflowers.

And I wondered about last year when I wrote about inspiration from the snow—was I just trying to figure out something to blog about? Or was I truly inspired? Because this morning all I feel is disgruntled.

And a longing for the morning glories.




Cheers?
Julia


p.s. What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? If you live in a wintery climate, are you still getting snow? Or is it spring time? If you live in a place where you never get snow, do you wish you did? Are you inspired by your weather? Or are you like me—disgruntled?

Happy Almost-December (!?) from the Coast of Maine

(Saturday, November 26, 2011, 10:56 a.m. EST, 53 degrees F)

We went to the beach overlook today about 15 minutes before high tide (forecast for 11:11). An astronomical high tide of 11.8 feet was predicted, and I wanted to see what that looked like. (Flood stage in nearby Portland is considered 12 feet.) An astronomical high tide is caused by gravitational pull alone—not meteorological forces like wind or storminess.

As you can see in the video, absolutely none of the sandbar is showing. The small sliver of shore land beach usually there during high tide is not even visible. The video shows the serenity and peacefulness of water and you can hear a few birdsbut the cars on the bridge were omnipresent this morning, and it took us 15 minutes to get this short video clip without car sound in the background!

The weather’s unusual pattern continues. After our Halloween storm, we had a long stretch through November of unseasonably warm weather—receiving no more snow until the day before Thanksgiving. Then, just in time for our family coming home for Thanksgiving, we received another 6 inches of snow. Remarkably, as we made our way down to Boston to pick up our daughter at the airport, the Interstate pavement was dry and snow free within 20 minutes of home! Our travel was uneventful, and her flight was actually early!

Now today and for the week ahead, we have temperatures forecast in the 50s! And the snow is beginning to melt again. Happy Almost-December?!

Meanwhile in the garden, here’s the view we had out our window for our Thanksgiving feast…we are having a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, and I hope you are too!



Happy Snowtober Nor’easter Video

(Sunday, October 30, 2011, 1:32 p.m. EST, 41 degrees F) 





You can’t really tell from the video but we got our first snow last night—“only” about six inches where we were, but 18 inches in other parts of Maine and 26 inches in other parts of New England! We got off easy with this one. The media is calling it “Snowtober,” a rare October snowstorm.

In addition to the snow, it was also very cold…26F degrees, our coldest temperatures this year. It was especially cold in our house after we lost power. The temperature in the house hit 54F degrees right before power was restored at a little after noon (a huge thank you to the wonderful crews of Central Maine Power). Today the snow has stopped, and much has melted away; all that’s left is high winds up to 35 mph.

You can really see the winds buffeting the camera in today’s video. What a difference from last week’s tranquil sunrise! And I think you can see some snow on the distant shoreline (high tide is hiding the sandbar beach).



We planted the garlic yesterday!

Meanwhile in the garden…. yesterday when we knew the storm was coming, we quickly went out and planted garlic—knowing it would be our last chance to plant this fall. Then we mulched it with straw, and sure enough today the garden is covered in a blanket of snow.

And covered with straw!

And this morning…. WOW!!
What a difference a day makes!


Yesterday When It Was Spring


Yesterday when it was 65 degrees, a lot of snow melted so that a corner of the garden was exposed. It made me hopeful, and I started thinking about planting. So much so that when I got up this morning at 5:30 a.m.—and it was dark, thank you daylight savings—I started to write a blog about planting the garden.

My plan was to go out and take a picture of that corner of the garden, to include with my blog.

But then, when it got light, and I looked outside, IT WAS SNOWING. Yep, that’s Maine in Spring. And, as they say in Maine: “Deal with it.”


Cheers,

Julia

p.s. Blog about Spring canceled due to snow.

What surprises did you get this morning that changed your plans?

Video Postcard from the Coast of Maine: Beach Day with Icy Sunshine

Recorded Saturday, February 26, 3:00 p.m., 32 degrees F



Maine’s coastline and islands have inspired many writers. Here is an excerpt from The Country of Pointed Firs and Other Stories, by Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909).

We were standing where there was a fine view of the harbor and its long stretches of shore all covered by the great army of the pointed firs, darkly cloaked and standing as if they waited to embark. As we looked far seaward among the outer islands, the trees seemed to march seaward still, going steadily over the heights and down to the water’s edge.


It had been growing gray and cloudy, like the first evening of autumn, and a shadow had fallen on the darkening shore. Suddenly, as we looked, a gleam of golden sunshine struck the outer islands, and one of them shone out clear in the light, and revealed itself in a compelling way to our eyes.

Tomorrow is the New Today


Today was going to be the first day of the rest of my life. As far as writing schedule goes anyway. As previously disclosed in yesterday’s blog, blogging has thrown a wrench into my schedule. To be specific: I no longer have a schedule.


But today was the day that was all going to change. My only client meeting was cancelled (thank you Mother Nature!), so I was determined to whip myself into shape, and:


1. Not check email, or


2. Twitter, or


3. Any blogs I follow, or


4. Even glance at the stats for my blog.


Until I:


a. Wrote today’s blog.


b. Finished revising a piece of flash fiction that I still need to cut 200 words from.


c. Wrote the 900 words I committed to writing everyday (except now it’s 900×10=9000 words, because I’ve missed 10 days of writing due to blogging).


d. All of the above.


But then I woke up this morning with Tweeter’s Neck or Blogger’s Shoulder—I’m not sure which but definitely something to do with computer ergonomics. And now, with my neck in a holding pattern, I can only think about:


1. Coffee.


2. Advil and Tylenol.


3. Swiffering the unbelievably dog-hairy kitchen floor—which I was easily able to notice thanks to the new angle of my neck.


4. Reading and tweeting (and griping) about the impending snowstorm—another 6-10 inches today. Thank you Mother Nature.


5. Sprinting (or some other much less graceful facsimile) up the stairs to make sure the oil delivery guy didn’t see me in my bathrobe.


6. The shooting pain in my neck when I (a)drink coffee, (b)swiffer, (c)tweet, (d)sprint/facsimile upstairs (e)all of the above and more.


And especially:


7. The heating pad on the couch.


I’m glad that I at least fulfilled my commitment to daily blogging (or some facsimile thereof).


Cheers,

Julia


p.s. Unfortunately I did not read the really good and very helpful post “Protect Yourself From Writing’s Physical Hazards” on Writeitsideways until I spent far too many stretch-free hours in front of the computer this week. But I highly recommend that you read it (and stretch) now. Trust me you’ll be glad you did.

Why This Blog is Not About Arugula


Yes, it’s true. I was going to blog about arugula today. And hope of spring. Because Friday when it was almost 50 degrees and the sun was shining, I went to the grocery store, and there they were. The towering racks of seeds right inside the door. MEH (My Engineer Husband) and I almost swooned. Really.


When you live in Maine, and it’s dark and dismal and cold and icy for endless months on end, you take any sign of spring as an encouragement. Like the groundhog seeing his shadow. Like the garden thyme desperately peeking out from the only non-snowy corner of the driveway. Like one sunny day at the end of February. Like the seed towers at the local grocery store.


And so MEH and I oohed and aahed over every seed packet, every possibility, what should we buy as our representation of spring? To tuck into a prominent spot of the kitchen so we could appreciate the reality that someday soon we would return to the garden, dig up the beautiful bountiful earth, and engage in our yearly ritual of planting.


Flower or vegetable? Root crop or leafy green? Someone walking by might have thought we were playing 20 questions or Animal Vegetable Mineral. Someone walking by might’ve thought we were crazy. No we’re in Maine. They knew. They understood.


Finally of course we knew it had to be a vegetable. We passed by the beets, the spinach. Breakfast radish, a new favorite from last year, almost made the cut. But in the end, we went with arugula. This spicy, almost-bitter green sprinkled with balsamic vinaigrette, is the bee’s knees of culinary delight. Closing our eyes, we could almost imagine: feel the springtime, standing in the warm sun, pinching back the arugula sprouts, thinning and then devouring the tiny harvest. Sublime.


But instead more snow. Only lightly falling, but still. This morning an annoying reminder that we need to wait. And so for now the seed packet of arugula sits on the window sill. A small reminder that soon I will be able to begin to consider that maybe someday, I will sit and think and write and maybe even blog in the warm spring sun while I watch the arugula grow where now there is only snow.


Cheers,

Julia


p.s. How does the weather inspire or discourage you in your writing? What gives you hope for spring? If you’re a gardener, and you live in a warm climate, how’s the growing going?

Commitment

It’s the first warm-ish sunny day in a while, and I’m inside at the computer. If you live in the Northeast, like I do, you know these days have been few and far between this winter. Lots of snow, ice, rain, even lightning, you name it. If you don’t live in the Northeast, trust me: it’s been miserable.

A friend I met for coffee this morning was on her way to go cross-country skiing. I haven’t skied for years, and then only once, but it sounded really fun. “You can walk next to me,” she offered. I imagined myself running down an ice-packed trail in my clunky L. L. Bean boots. I declined.

The truth is I was anxious to get home. I started blogging this week, and I am serious about the commitment. It sounds silly even to me. No one is counting on me but me; maybe no one has even read my first blog from yesterday, I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. I am blogging to get myself writing, and so it’s words I must write!

After coffee, as my friend headed toward the sunny side of town, I headed the other way. I drove home, and I booted up my laptop. It took all morning, and six pages of starts, but I did it. I wrote my second blog. And that’s good enough for today.