Saturday, 17 December 2011

Hurrah, the First Snow of the Season





No, I've not gone mad.


Since coming home from hospital I seem to have been racing around like a woman possessed. Of course, I took a few days off at first, tried to relax and recover my strength, but common sense didn't prevail for long. Living where we do, way out of civilisation, in the hills, and at the back of beyond, shopping trips take most of the day. No popping into town for me, no quick dash to catch the shops before closing; no, everything I do assumes the proportions of an expedition. We were out for most of the day, every day; and not just shopping or socialising; there were visits to the hospital for Beloved's eye injection, and the dog needed to go to the vet for his arthritis medication. In between I made preparations for Christmas. Blogging? Reading, Writing? Forget it!


But then it snowed. And when it snows, we can't go anywhere. Which meant that I finally stopped, stood at the window and took time to stare, at the birds scrapping at the bird table, at the dark lines of hedges and tracks, the larches on the horizon and the winter sky.





And when it became too dark to see anything outside I looked inside the room, saw the light of the candles and realised what I had been doing. The relief was such that it felt as if a heavy weight had suddenly been lifted from my shoulders. "It's not my fault if 'things' aren't done, inactivity is not laziness, it's imposed upon me by a force greater than me." Thank you, weather gods.







There was time to sit and drink tea and eat Stollen, to write Christmas letters and have long phone calls with people we won't be seeing. There was time to appreciate the beauty of the season and the gifts it brings to those who open their hearts to receive it. There was time to think and be grateful for what we have.

Thank you, weather gods.


61 comments:

  1. Just when you needed it, the universe answered your call for a slow-down. When it snows one realises that what is done is all that will be done and that it will be enough. I'm glad you're having a chance to rest, read, chat, blog, snooze....whatever else it is that makes you happy. You've earned it, my Dear Friend!

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  2. Oh no, how have I missed so much my dear friend. I was away for a week and then one step forward and seems like two steps back the following week. Only now blogging again after catching up and I find that you have been unwell.

    What did I miss. Although it looks like you are well on the way to recovery and I am so glad for you. You just stay in that bed, inside and cosy and out of that wonderful snow gently falling outside.

    We must have been up in Scotland when you were ill and I know exactly what type of weather was hitting your area a little further south. What an awful time you must have had.

    Glad you are back.
    Take Care
    Di
    x

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  3. As the poem goes
    'What is this life if full of care
    We have no time to stand and stare..'
    Friko - I'm so glad you're feeling better after you hospital stay and glad too that the snow came for you to enjoy it.
    Have a special peaceful Christmas xx

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  4. Friko, these photographs are so beautiful. It is nice that you are making good indoors due to snow.

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  5. Snow is so much more enjoyable when you can look out a window at it. Glad you had the luxury of doing just that. Jim

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  6. I'm thanking your weather gods, too, Friko, for slowing you down. I remember what it's like when every shopping grip is an expedition, and I'm glad you had the sense to stay in your beautiful home and not attempt a polar expedition!
    Drinking tea and eating Stollen (oh, wonderful) sound like perfect tonics.
    Luv, K

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  7. You sound good Friko, content. Sometimes I enjoy the hour it takes to get to the store as a time to relax and reflect on the natural beauty all around me. But, it is also so good to be able to stay indoors with time to stare. These photos are beautiful!

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  8. I thank the weather gods, too, for your beautiful pictures that you had time to take and share. It's also wonderful to hear that you are better. Hugs and best wishes from the far northwest corner of the USA.

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  9. Thank you Friko for such a lovely post that has gotten me more in the mood. My ankle is much better but insures that I get no exercise for some time to come. No snow here but your photos are perfect and your decorations are delightful! Is there a story behind that interesting candelabra?

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  10. Glad you popped in. Your candles look lovely but I can do without the snow. All the frantic stressful activity is why I choose to let it all pass by me, why I don't celebrate the season besides just not believing in the christian religious dogma.

    I'm glad the snow slowed you down. Now let go of any residual stress or guilt and have a wonderful winter holiday.

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  11. nice...enjoy that sigh of relief...your snow covered hills look lovely...there is just something about candle light too isnt there..

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  12. Let it snow, indeed. Of course, prolonged hibernating due to extreme weather can unleash the exact opposite emotions/behaviours to those you describe. Cabin fever, restlessness, shameful periods of torpor.
    I'm never happy!
    I lie, I'm like you. Happy when I'm doing the important things - communicating being very high on the list.

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  13. Your candle light tableaux are beautiful, Friko and the views beyond your windows so peaceful. Enjoy it all! Let the rest of humanity rush by in the insane frenzy to celebrate Christmas.

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  14. candlelight , good food and time to read .... an excellent beginning to christmas .

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  15. A lovely post, Friko, words and images. I'm glad the weather has conspired to slow you down. No snow here, we left it behind in Wales on our way to visit my mother-in-law. Now I'm retired and don't have to go anywhere, I love being snowed in.

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  16. Don't like snow to cold. What is Stollen??? please enlighten me :-).

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  17. Thank you for a beautiful post (words and photos), and a timely reminder to slow down. I envy you your snow though.

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  18. So glad the weather gods are on your side, surrounding you with beauty both outside and in.

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  19. What is it about this world that we have to feel guilty about not rushing around doing stuff the whole time? Kick back and enjoy!

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  20. This is lovely, and so right. Today, I set aside the laptop, listened to The Sixteen (Ikon) with a cup of tea, finished one book and got a third of the way through another. Notwithstanding the seasonal silliness over my way, what you've written here offers the very best of what this season can be.

    Many thanks for all the joys you've given to us all this year. May you and your beloved have a Happy Christmas, dear Friko, and a healthy and happy New Year.

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  21. Sometimes there are forces more powerful than us that take charge... glad you are finding the time to do the important things :-)

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  22. This was a wonderful little Christmas card, Friko. As the Rolling Stones' song goes, sometime we don't get what we want, but we get what we need. Somehow the weather knows exactly when to shake up our tired patterns of life. Beautiful photos, all of which put me in the spirit of the holidays.

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  23. We got our first snow today, too!!!! Welcome back!!!

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  24. What marvelous photos for the day! And what a delightful Christmas card it makes! And thank you, too, for the reminder to take time to enjoy life and slow down! Easy to forget at this time of the year! Hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend!

    Sylvia

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  25. Glad to hear you are taking advantage of nature enforced breaks!

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  26. Those fields look a lot like my fields except for the trees. Those are larches? They have a beautiful form.
    Having snow enough to justify . . . nay, necessitate staying home . . . I wonder if we'll even get that this year...? It is such a sweet, sweet luxury.

    Very flattering to me to think of being your twin, with your talent and your Do-Good gene. I expect to grow more and more hermity as the years go by.

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  27. What lovely pictures! I can feel my cheeks reddening in the cool air from that snowy landscape! Nice to sit and relax and remember the reason for all the craziness this time of year!

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  28. MOST well said;
    Smashing photos too!


    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

    ><}}(°>

    < ° ) } } > <

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  29. I love that! Thank you, weather gods! Sounds like you really needed your forced break. I love candles in the dark in the winter most of all. ;)

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  30. We are like you - the list of errands builds until a day is required to handle it all but I much prefer the spaciousness and quiet of surrounding acreage.

    Your snow covered hills are like a postcard and I am drawn to the candlelight and the peaceful, soft glow it gives off.

    Wishing you and your Beloved & your faithful Benno, all this is good and healthy in 2012.

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  31. yes me too on being so far from the shops.
    I love how the weather goddess conspired to keep you still and awed.
    XO
    WWW

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  32. What lovely photographs - both inside and out!

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  33. How beautiful your photos are, and how timely the snow is in that it allowed you to slow down and see the beauty both inside and outside of your home.
    Have a wonderful Christmas.

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  34. I know how you feel, Friko. We have a village shop, but it's a two mile walk across country for us. We haven't seen any of the white stuff yet, but it'll come. And when it does, we won't be going anywhere.

    Stay warm, and take care.

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  35. Hi Friko - it is beautiful and just lovely if one can happily home doing other things - glad you're feeling better .. and hope you can take time out ... relax, read, contemplate, be peaceful ..

    You seem to have managed to achieve many Christmas things before the time arrives - love your candles, lights etc ..

    Happy Christmas and New Year - 2012 .. Hilary

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  36. I live a ways out from town too!! So I so understand about the whole day excursion! Whew!
    Glad you got to rest and enjoy your surroundings!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  37. I know exactly how you feel, sometimes it takes 'the weather' or other natural occurances to allow us to stop and breath. A wonderful post ... and the views are just beautiful :o)

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  38. Doesn't that slowing down feel great? It's harder to appreciate things when we're rushing about. Glad the weather gods were obliging ;)

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  39. The snow pictures are great.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  40. friko my most romantic memory of england is snow on the yorkshire moors. when i see snow on english fields it makes my heart cry for joy!!! steven

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  41. A timely intervention by those weather gods! And probably fortunate for your health as well as it is very easy to overdo things when we have not been well. The photographs are just beautiful. I particularly like what you have done with the candles -- they remind me of an Advent wreath. I note in the corner of the picture a tiny angel -- is it one of several that make up an orchestra, I wonder? It looks like something my sister has that she brings out every Christmas.

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  42. We eat our good old Stollen too, I kept all German traditions (except the cookie baking)here in Belgium and had a little to combine with the Italian traditions. Your snow pictures look beautiful. I would prefer to have snow after Christmas because we go to Amsterdam to our son's. Last year the streets were nightmare !

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  43. What absolutely beautiful winter scenery. I guess someone's telling you to slow down and enjoy!

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  44. May I presume to say 'I know how you feel'? Today was the first (working) day I didn't have to rush off to the hospital and it felt like a holiday!

    Love the way the world shuts down when there is a dusting of snow on the hills. When we lived in the Cheshire countryside, if it snowed we couldn't get out of our driveway: Yeah!!!

    Happy holidays dear Friko if I don't have the chance to visit for a while.

    Isabel xxx

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  45. I'm so glad the weather got your attention. It sometimes takes a force of nature to remind us to relax and take note. May your Christmas be all the merrier because of it.

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  46. Hello:
    How pretty the countryside looks with its blanket of snow and how lovely to have been confined to barracks as a result.

    The candles look so wonderfully warm and welcoming and clearly you had the most perfect of times catching up with friends and just enjoying the atmosphere of this most festive of seasons.

    Take care of yourself and do not worry about what may or may not be accomplished. Take time to just enjoy being!!

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  47. It's great to find out that you also appreciate the beauty of the season. I think that it's one of the special moments of the year, and we should be very thankful for it :)

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  48. When you can't stop and smell the flowers you can look at the snow. Soon old Kris Kringle will come over one of those hills with thunder and lightning. Dianne

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  49. The joys of winter hibernation Friko! I am with you.

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  50. Glad you find some time to just be - even if it was forced on you by the wheather gods !! fröhliche Weihnachten wünsche ich Dir ;-))

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  51. Glad the weather gave you a reason to slow down and savor the season. Such beautiful pictures! There's nothing quite as wonderful as a white Christmas!

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  52. I thank your weather gods, too, for they saved you for us. And I covet your candelabra. Is there a story behind it?

    (word verification: emobil)

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  53. It's good to have matters and decisions taken out of one's hands - time to muse and view and appreciate. In short, a time to 'stand and stare' - and we should take the time to embrace those opportunities.

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  54. Why is it that we rush around so madly? How serendipitous that the snow came just when you needed a rest. Time to savour life! Breathe deeply. Realign one's soul. These are the important moments.

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  55. You live in one of the most beautiful spots on earth I think. I am assuming this from the photos because I have never been there, but I find your spot on earth so peaceful and beautiful. Living where you do could be isolating, but I think I could take to it. I too would 'stand and stare." I would not feel the least bit guilty about doing so.

    I'm glad you are relaxing a feeling better. I can't imagine having episodes of 'violent AF." I suffer from arrhythmia myself, and have had quite a spell lately. Mine is not a-fib, but it frightens me to death. I do best when I am calm. I can imagine how soothing the beauty of your snow and the soft candlelight must also allow you to take deep breaths and enjoy a smoothly ticking heart.

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  56. You do live in such a beautiful place, too.

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  57. Thanks Friko.
    I have been somewhat like you in scurrying around like a gerbil on a treadmill.

    Accomplishing nothing.

    But, for various reasons most of my dashing about has been done in the confines of my mind.

    I wish it would snow here so the peace you describe so eloquently might visit me.

    Why can't I rest and remember these words:

    'HE IS THE STILL SPOT IN THE MIDST OF A TROUBLED WORLD"

    .

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  58. "Thank you, weather gods." Thank you, Friko!

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  59. This was the post I needed to read. Thank you, Friko. For giving us candlelight and a beautiful snow. Lovely.

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  60. And PS -- I hope you are feeling well now. I so hope you are.

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