I started the day early - 5:30 am - no small accomplishment for me. Getting up is one of the hardest things I do all day. It was not always this way; after all, I attended early-morning seminary for four years! But things change, and although I love getting up early to see the day begin, I also love to dig deeper into my coccoon of blankets, for an extra snooze. Unfortunately, the two inclinations are not really compatible.
I was on the road by 6:30 am, heading to the Detroit Temple. As always, I thought about how easy travel is these days. I always think about early church members, traveling west some 20 miles a day, struggling with road conditions - or building the roads as they went - and subject to the elements. My trip was in the comfort of my car, with its protection from wind and snow, and its effective heater. I listened to my iPod and to the radio, and of course to Thelma (our GPS lady). (What is on my iPod? I listened to episodes of Never Not Knitting; Ready Set Knit; Stash and Burn; and The Writer's Almanac).
Leaving so early, I watched the day dawn: it was lovely. At one point, the sky was morning grey, with an open field stretching to the horizon, and bare trees lined along the background. Behind them, pink heralded the rising sun. In the foreground, one lone tree raised its branches. I thought, "What a beautiful scene." And that was the moment I realized I'd forgotten to bring the camera, notwithstanding my good intentions. (This would be the reason this blog post has no pictures...)
I arrived with plenty of time to spare, so I waited in the car a few minutes, and knit a few rows on another Hill Country Hat (don't you always have knitting in your car?). And then I very much enjoyed my time in the temple. Afterwards, I visited with Paul & Rachelle & kids. Rachelle served a delicious lunch (Jim would probably be happy if I occasionally cooked something as yummy as Rachelle's cooking), we chatted, we fussed over Molly (the Boston Terrier). She (Molly) is both a kisser and a jumper - an awkward, but endearing, combination.
Then we were off to the Plymouth Ice Festival. We enjoyed the ice sculptures, but the weather was really really cold: 14 degrees, colder still with the wind chill. Paul kindly bought hot chocolate for all, which saved us. (My nose was so cold, I considered plunging it into the hot chocolate - but that seemed a bit extreme, and a waste of good cocoa...)
Back at their place, we visited some more while our fingers thawed, and then headed home (in my lovely, warm car, of course). More time with the iPod: conference talks, and The Writer's Almanac. Somewhere between Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, I realized it was snowing. By the time I got home, the flakes were large & fluffy & coming down steadily.
Jim & I ate, I knit some on the baby blanket, and we watched Dogs 101. Check out the Kooikerhondje - a cute little dog, with an unusual skill. And so we ended a Fine Day.
Here's one of the poems I listened to on Saturday. I like its description of feelings in a marriage, the ups and down, the routine pleasures and challenges:
by Gerald Locklin
she is working in the garden,
facing away from me,
trimming the bougainvillea,
still trim herself and youthful,
relaxed and free of cares,
doing something she enjoys,
something that she always has enjoyed,
and having lost all conception of
the passing of the hours,
and i feel a tenderness for her
that i may never have felt during
the selfish passion of young manhood,
and i wish the bitterness that
have more than merely punctuated
our thirty years together
could be magically obliterated
(which will never happen-let's
not kid ourselves-but perhaps for the
rest of this afternoon and evening
they will be.
i resolve to do and say
only kindnesses to her
over dinner and in front of
the pbs mystery that we've been following
and not to react to
any sarcasms or schemes
she may slip into out of habit, hunger,
merlot, tiredness, or contemplation of
the work week's rattling hours
of third graders, parents, colleagues,
homework, grades, and art projects,
lying once again in wait for her.