The pine tree was hollow inside! We investigated more closely; Karl pulled the bark away and found the awful truth. It might have fallen at any moment. It might have crashed down during the rain and wind on Valerie and Andrew’s wedding day! Hollow! So hollow there was snow inside! Now what am I to think?
The streets of Annapolis are a mess. I drove to the post office this morning. The main road leading to town had not been plowed! Travel packed the snow down to a hard, six inch layer of lumpy ice and mush. Cars that weren’t crawling along at five (that’s 5) miles per hour, were stuck fast in the middle of the single lane as stuck as if they were glued there. One man bent by his tire, chipping the frozen stuff away with what looked like a chisel! A man in a truck covered with USMC stickers stopped to help him, which was truly gallant.
The drains in the street are clogged by mountains (that’s five feet tall) of snow. When things start to melt, this could be a problem.
The grocery stores look trashed. The eggs available for sale are those smashed in open cartons in the empty refrigerator case.
I went outside to knock the snow off the neighbor’s cedar tree that I’ve been concerned about. I can see this tree from my windows, but from her window, she can't see how much snow is on it. This is a tall tree, reaching over her porch roof to her second story. The branches, some attached to the tree above my head, were bowed down and BURIED in snow. I dug the branches out, and they gave a weary sort of bounce but didn't go back to normal.
Last night we braved the roads and drove to our son and daughter in law’s home. Because the door in their fence around their little courtyard opens out, Eric had to climb over the fence to shovel a path! No plow nor shovel had touched their parking lot, so we picked them up to give them a ride to little Joey’s fourth birthday party.
Her home a sanctuaryWe had to park at the corner grocery store and walk up the street snow packed, ice covered street (sidewalks buried) to the party. Andrea’s beautiful smile welcomed us as she threw open the door to her warm house scented with freshly baked bread.
full of funShe and Joe had decorated with green paper strips and parachute jumpers! Everyone had a name tag identity either as a Gi-Joe character or a person from “The Incredibles.” Joey chose our identities and I got to be Violet, the invisible girl with the ability to create force fields, (if only!) from said movie. Sure was fun.
and delicious food with dear people, some of whom remain invisible on the left side of the table (sorry!)Joey’s cousins, cheerful, sturdy little people, were there to help celebrate. Jack seemed as excited as Joey and all the children played happily together, patient when activities were being organized, waiting for the candles to be lit, etc. etc. sharing the toys old and new with only the slightest encouragement from us.
The Birthday Boy,(talking) with his faithful brother and cheeful cousinsDinner was spectacular. The fresh bread had a soft crumb, a subtle flavor and a crisp crust. The broccoli was perfectly steamed. Andrea made Boeuf Burgogne—with a rich, complex sauce, tender, flavorful beef. And all this without a drop of milk to make it safe for those allergic! (Just a note to say here that as much as I love and admire French cooking, a great deal of the flavor depends upon butter and cream. Andrea was able to accomplish just such a wonderful flavor without butter which, in my view, makes her great.)
two Karls at the same table - what could be better than that? (how about Joe, Joey, Clare, Care, Andrea, Andrew, Jake, Jack)On the way home, late at night, we shopped for groceries in that corner market where we’d parked our car. How fun and companionable! We’d never been grocery shopping with Care and Eric before and the sense of mission to “stock up” because another ten to twenty inches were said to be coming to our little corner of Maryland.
our traveling partners
Never smelled a lilac? Their scent is the sweetest and purest of all, strong, not heavy—maybe like green leaves and honey and sunlight. Spring will be here soon and I recommend that when you see the lilacs blooming—as you will thanks to the snow, bend a branch down to you and thrust your face right into the blossoms. Breathe deeply and know that after the snow comes this astonishing bloom.
Hurray for parties in the snow!