Saturday, January 14, 2012
Lesson 116: Ice Baby
Winter has finally made its very late arrival here at the Lamp Post. Sure, we've had some snow covering a few times (and I mean a very few), but really no significant and lasting accumulations. It's been a very unusual beginning of winter. To remind those of you who have forgotten what snow and ice exactly look like, I created this picture movie as a reminder. It is set to Vanilla Ice's tune, Ice, Ice, Baby.
My babies are going to be like three little ice pops this weekend. When snow covers the ground the trio is outdoors. Everyone around here needs a dose of vitamin D, so I'll probably strap on my new fur ear flap hat, a Christmas gift from my parents, and take a romp in the snow, too. Eloise lives next door to her parents, it is often in the winter time that one of them will spot me outside playing with my kids. "You better put a hat on," they holler from the kitchen window, "it's cold out." It's nice to be 40 years old and still so well taken care of. Hence, I opened the box to find a hat something like this:
Hey, if it's on the cover of Vogue, it must be cool, right? If you drive by the Lamp Post you'll know which one I am if you see me outside.
Natalie and Sam love to sled ride on the neighbor's hill. I love looking out the window in the morning at the Burns's cozy home (everyone needs a next door neighbor with the last name of Burns--sounds very American suburban). It's big and white and they have candles in their windows. The new fallen snow looks so pretty on their sloping lawn. It's like a Hallmark card moment with Winter Wonderland playing in the background. .......record scratch............. Peace interrupted. New fallen snow now flattened and brown with size one boot prints. Out runs Sam, screaming at the top of his lungs, ready to attack that hill. "No STANDING on the sled, Sam!" I yell out the window. Sometimes he listens. Ellen is usually nearby building a snow sculpture of some sort. You'll see her on the video with a heart tromped into the snow.
You'll find me attempting to cross country ski, AGAIN. My sister's Wisconsin in-laws gave me a set of skis a number of years ago. The Lamp Post property borders a beautiful community park and I have a Labrador retriever who loves to play in the snow. A perfect set up for cross country skiing. Record scratch.......Eloise is not athletic, and you need a fair amount of athletic ability to be able to ski. I am awkward and clumsy and flat out not that strong despite all the working out I do. A weekend distance runner does not an athlete make. I get those skis on and my ankles tip. I wobble. I try to slide my feet forward and instead I fall over sideways. It's an ugly scene. And without fail, every year my neighbor Fitzgerald drives by at the very worst moment, honks and waves, usually as I have my hind end up in the air trying to right myself. I'll admit on this blog that I gave him an angry gesture, but he didn't see it because I was wearing mittens. But Eloise is stubborn and flat out unwilling to give up. We've got a nice covering this morning--a good six inches I'd say, so I'll be out for another attempt. If you don't see another blog post for awhile, assume that I am in traction.
A safer winter time activity for me is my photography. I love the contrasts of the darks of nature with the white snow. My favorite days to photograph are the ones with the blanket of crisp white snow against a bright blue and sunny sky, but that literally happens maybe once or twice a winter around here. The sun is always behind a thick layer of cloud cover and is a colorless gray.
Rather than feel more depressed at the lack of sunlight, I went out at night last week. The moon was beautiful and I got some really cool shots of it. My favorite though, was the one of the ice crystals on a mirror in my dad's barn. The mirror is on an old medicine cabinet that he just couldn't get rid of. It hangs inside the man door and he keeps things inside of there. The barn is heated only by a burner that was crafted out of a and old, heavy metal gas tank, which I have named The Incinerator. The uneven heating and cooling made these super cool ice crystals and I was trying to get a close up. When I went back through my shots, I was stunned to see that my daughter's husky hat that I shoved on my head was showing in the mirror. If you look closely, you can even see my gloved hands holding the camera. I wasn't planning on the shot to turn out that way, but it ended up being my favorite of the batch.
Sometimes things surprise you. They don't turn out as you plan them to. Like winters. You know winter always comes, but you are always waiting to see what it will bring. Today, despite its very late arrival, we'll see what the day brings.
Time to strap on my skis. Wish me luck, Readers.
Eloise Vonn Dang--my parents got me the wrong hat. If they bought me this one, this is what I'd look like. Note to self: Be more specific when adding "hat" to Christmas wish list.
Posted by eloise hawking at 8:04 AM