WINTER HERB GARDEN
AN OAK CREAKING AND GROANING IN THE WIND
A COLD SUNSET IN THE WOODS
Friday, 8:30 AM. 16 degrees, wind SSW, light with stronger gusts. It is starting to snow lightly, and the barometer predicts the same.
Weather-wise, it was a Thanksgiving Day right out of the old song, “Over the river and through the snow, to Grandmother’s house we go,” but nobody came to Grandmother’s house, and Grandma and Grandpa didn’t go anywhere, either. Joan and I had a very nice Thanksgiving alone, and are fully blessed with leftovers. But we have resolved that this is the last one so spent, and the same for Christmas. The opportunities to spend holidays with children and grandchildren diminish quickly with the years.
I held my vigil in the woods again late yesterday, to no avail. The snow is really quite deep now, and I have to be careful to keep the truck on track so as not to get stuck. Yesterday the wind howled and shrieked through the trees, which creaked and groaned in protest in the eight degree temperature. My blood, as they say, has “thickened up,” and I don’t really get cold, but it seems to be a zero sum game at this point, and I am going to wait for a real change in weather and barometric pressure before I go out again. Deer hunting gives one plenty of time to think, and in the gloom and cold my thoughts kept returning to the Korean War so long ago, the bitter winter fighting and the 36,00o young Americans killed, most only a few years older than myself (at that time I was still in high school). I remember reading the headlines at the war's beginning as I was pedaling my paper route, I was thirteen; and hearing the news of the armistice on the radio while working at Wally and Eddie's Sinclair Station when I was fifteen. I have been lucky to lead a long and happy life, while so many others were cut down in their youth. And here we are, all these years later, on the very brink of the same tragedy. I pray we all dodge that bullet.