Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Fine Wintery Autumn Day...

Yesterday morning, view from the beside the woodstove (where I live in winter).

Yesterday morning we were surprised to wake up to a bit of snow on the ground. It wasn't much. Just about four inches total. It was pleasant, though, and surprisingly, the snow stuck around all day.

The snow was still on the ground this morning, but the roads were clear, so Melissa went to town to pick up Michelle and the boys to bring them out to the house for the day. After we'd had scones and coffee, we were all talking in the kitchen and I glanced into the living room to see this...

Roman-the-Curious-Wonder-Boy (with Jayden-the-Accomplice) was disassembling the vacuum cleaner components and examining everything (I know of another little boy-- one who is now grown and no longer lives here-- who was inclined to do this kind of thing, too). Then he took it for a test spin...

At some point, we noticed that it was snowing again. Hard. And it kept snowing. Normally the snow here in the high desert is dry and powdery. But, today, it was that nasty, heavy, wet kind of snow that clumps together and makes branches droop to the ground. It makes for slick walking and driving.

The snow is not all that deep in this photo (later it amassed to about eight inches). Last January, the snow was so deep it covered the top fence rails (there were drifts that were much deeper than that). That's a lot of snow for here.

Branches starting to droop with heavy, heavy, clumpy snow.

We decided to take Michelle and the boys home earlier than we'd planned because who knew when the snow would stop?! So, back into the car everyone went, and when we got to the paved road a mile from our house, the pavement was a snowy mess. I've driven in every kind of messy winter road conditions and weather in the 12 years we've lived here-- icy like a skating rink, wet ice, deep slush, wet snow, and powdery snow-- and I just don't get nervous about it. But the car was slipping around more than ever today. As we were going (sloooowly and very carefully) down the steep hill to the highway, there were cars stuck here and there-- off the road, in the ditch, sideways in the middle of the road. But we made it safely down the hill and to Michelle's and headed back home.

I was concerned about driving back up the curvy, mile-long hill toward our house since we had had much more trouble than usual going down. I was praying about this as we drove along, and as we approached that country road that would take us up into the foothills toward our house, I was pretty sure we were going to have to stop in this mess of snow to put on chains. With people sliding everywhere, that's not a perfectly safe thing to do, but just as we were turning onto the hilly road, a big snow plow cut directly in front of us and led us all the way up the hill (around any cars that were stranded in the middle of the road) and to the gravel road that leads to our house. Well, what do you know?! We certainly would not have made it up the hill if that plow hadn't led the way. We were slipping enough as it was. And so I was relieved and thankful and smiling inside and feeling very blessed.

Catfish, butternut squash, potatoes, garlic, chiles, fire-roasted tomatoes, water, and the combination of spices that makes those distinctive, spicy Bangladeshi curries. Sprinkled with cilantro. Easy, spicy-hot, and delicious.

Happy to be safely back home, I shoveled the walkways and a pathway to the barn. I reinvigorated the fire in the woodstove, and then I finally made that catfish curry for dinner (the one we were going to have the night we went out to Thai food). This Bangladeshi curry is another of Michelle's mother-in-law's amazing recipes, and it's as easy as can be to make. To be most authentic, I would serve the curry with basmati rice, possibly drizzled with ghee, but we made our favorite Thai jasmine rice instead. Yum.

Another good day ends. We're loved and safe and warm and well fed. God is good.