Friday, December 21, 2007

Weather, Socks and Skating

Today is a particularly beautiful day. It's bitter cold outside, but the trees are covered in ice crystals, which gives everything a cozy wintry feel. It's also sort of foggy out. I was just out meeting a couple of friends (Anne and Cindy) for coffee and when I rode back, I noticed the crystals. This is a decent far away picture. A closer picture would be nicer, but that would entail going out again, and I'm not doing that until I have to. In the lower right hand corner is the place where we bought our tree. (Cindy told me today that that they paid €75 for their tree. Granted it was bigger, but now ours feel like a bargain at €30.)

The temperature is now 24˚F, or -4˚ C. However you measure it, it's below freezing. I've had a couple of students this week talk to me about skating. Then yesterday when I was leaving work (for the last time before my two week break - thank you, Jesus), I saw some boys walking out on the ice in a sloot, which is a small waterway. Anyway, it looked like an accident waiting to happen. My inner parent wanted to yell, "Get off of that! You don't know how thin the ice is!" But the real me thought, What's going to happen? The ice will break and the little sh*t will go in up to his knees, get kidded ruthlessly by his friends and learn a good lesson. The point is that it's getting cold enough to freeze some waterways. It's not like the canals are going to freeze over any time soon, but some water is freezing, which is nice.

One of my students explained to me this week about the flooding and freezing of the lakes. Whenever I've seen people skating on a lake and it seems like utter madness. I've seen too many after-school specials with people falling in and desperately trying to grab at anything and all there is are shards of ice that are slick as glass and breaking off into the water as their body goes into hypothermia. (It's similar to my fear of oceans after seeing part of Jaws.) But apparently, the lake floods and then freezes. So what they're actually skating on is the flooded part, which is about six inches of ice with earth underneath. It's not endless water, which could be an inch of ice with a hungry lake just waiting to swallow you up. Of course some lakes freeze. There's a disturbing story in Middlesex about driving across one of the Great Lakes going from Michigan to Canada. Ever read Middlesex? Great read. Eye opening. I recommend. Of course it was an Oprah's Book Club selection, so it has her stamp of approval on the cover, which means that Fred will never read it. Pity. That stamp is like kryptonite to Fred.

Walking into church the other day, I mentioned how cold it was to one of the altos. She said, "Oh this is very nice. Just think how much worse it could be. It could be this cold and raining. This is nice weather." She said the whole thing in Dutch, but I understood it. Nothing like the voice of a reasonable pessimist to get me back on track. Ever since then, I've been riding through what feels like sheets of icy wind on my bike feeling grateful that it's only cold, not wet.

With classes over for two weeks, I'm going to sit for a few hours today and work on the socks. I got the heel flaps done and the heels turned. One of them is the most beautiful heel I've ever done. The other is also nice, but the one is a masterpiece. It's a particularly good day for pictures with all this defused light.

Off to work on those socks. That will take this nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. (Don't get me wrong, I like a nothing day.)

And, you know, love is all around.

1 comment:

Crafty Andy said...

The trees look beautiful Andrew. I am hopoing to start socks in January, love the sock yarn you are showing!