Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's been an amazing Autumn for the Chicago area this year. Our temps have been runnning in the upper 60's (or better) for the last 6 weeks with beautiful blue skies and gorgeous red, orange and golden foliage everywhere you look. I mean, flowers are still blooming!

But yesterday, Mother Nature woke up and realized something was not quite right and it turned cold and gray and rainy. Just like that. She's a trickster, that Mother Nature. I spent the entire day indoors, doing a craft show with Big Girl. When I went into the Craft Show at 7:30am, it was brisk, but still nice enough to not need a jacket. When we exited nine hours later, it was C.O.L.D. It was windy and you could tell it wanted to snow. If you live around here, you know that feeling...

And today...holy cow. It was super cold and really windy. The Hubs and I fished this afternoon over at Crappie Lake. I had on 3 layers under my winter parka and my winter boots, so my body was warm enough, but hoo-boy, my hands were numb! (And every cast came back all weedy, so I had to get the gook off every single stupid time. News flash: really windy and cold plus wet equals blue, achy, fumbly fingers.) Nevertheless, I am still the reigning Crappie Queen, catching 16 or so, some very nicely sized.

But what is my point, you ask? What makes this blog-worthy? This is my aha! moment: walking into the Jewel tonight for tonight's dinner, I was resigning myself that this is it: Winter is right around the corner and I better just give in and accept it. And then I had this amazing sense of "right-ness". It is the middle of November and it ought to be darned cold and frankly, we should have had some snow by now. We Chicagoans accept and kind of embrace our wretched weather. Makes us tough, doncha know? It was such a cool, peaceful feeling to recognize the continuity, aka stability, of the seasons.

Accepting Winter makes me realize so much: that Christmas is coming: yay! Soon, there'll be that first glorious snowy morning where everything is hushed and magical.
There'll be snowmen and frosty windows and Wrigley bounding through the drifts in a delirious frenzy. And Gracie will be turning Four!

We'll get another New Year and another chance to do things better and kinder and more intentional. And we'll be that much closer to the arrival of New Muffin on the Block, due in early April.

She is obviously a very bendy child. Just look at that leg-kick!

And a new Gingrich, due only a month later. Is there another child who can compete with our sweetheart grand-niece, Miss Greeley?

Every minute marks the passage of time, which we can never get back. But our traditions and memories are what make it all worth while. We better make the most of it while we can!

Stay warm, y'all!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How do you make your husband smile?

Well, here at our house, you ask him to take you fishing. Poor Hubs misses our son; the two of them spent every weekend fishing. And after Scott went to school, I freely admit I was not filling in as fishing buddy. The poor guy was good about it, though. Oh, I used to go fishing. Like 30 years ago. In fact, our honeymoon was spent fishing in Quetico in Canada and we had an amazing time.

But for the past 29 years, I was not so interested.

Then suddenly, a few weeks ago, something changed. I don't know why, but I asked him to take Wrigley and me out on the fishing boat. Since then, we've been 4 times and I've been pretty much skunked. (That's Fishin' Talk for not catching anything.) Kinda boring.

Until today!

The clever man decided we would hunt the eager, hungry, not-discriminating-at-all panfish at a small pond in Barrington. And we caught fish! In fact, I caught a 12 inch crappie, which is apparently a Big Deal!

Fishing has a lot of perks which appeal to me: being outdoors in a beautiful setting, with lots of birds and other wildlife about. We saw a beautiful sunset tonight. There was a tiny hidden creature making odd noises down by my feet, buzzing and chirping away. Turned out to be a little black field mouse. A homeowner was burning leaves on the other side of pond, which smelled heavenly and we could hear the snapping and cracking of the fire. The ducks were quacking in that homey way they have as they paddled among the reeds.

And the fish were biting.

And the Hubs was smiling.