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Love hurts (sometimes)

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New! Be sure to check out my new I Live on a Farm website! Pretty Ball of Yarn Zero degrees. Not complaining, just sayin' ... it's zero degrees. And this is a relatively warm winter. I told my husband last evening this has been a good "intro" winter for me. It has snowed pretty much every day for the past three and a half weeks and we have had some sub-zero weather but mostly the temperatures have been between zero and thirty-two. This week will be particularly cold and we might get quite a bit of snow today. I have had plenty of opportunuities to use my Sorell boots, the J. Crew "puffy" coat I inherited from my son during a move a couple of years ago, and I have learned the art of layering and suffered the consequences of over-doing the layering. I even did some driving alone on slippery roads Friday night, so I can check that one off on the list of new experiences as well. Last weekend my husband and I took a walk in the woods out behind the corn fields. When I was a child in North Carolina we had a stand of woods out behind our house and I spent much of my childhood out in those woods running, exploring, climbing trees. You don't know this about me yet, but I was so skilled at tree climbing when I was a child that I had a sort of celebrity status with all the other kids on our street as the tree climber, thought to be part monkey by some. Even the older kids and teenagers had this sort of awe about my ability to climb a tree if the tree could be climbed at all. That little bit of nostalgia was just to point out the fact that I love trees and the woods in general. In Southern California on many camping trips in the mountains I loved taking walks among the pines, because it reminded me of the woods in North Carolina. Here, the woods are primarily deciduous. Oh and how lovely. I had been back in there with him in the summer, but the beauty of winter with snow puffs on every little branch and twig, blankets of snow and ice on every limb was breathtaking. Of course, walking through deep snow in heavy boots with too many layers of clothes trying to keep up pace with my husband steps so we could hold hands while walking was breathtaking in an entirely different way. (Gasp.) There were tracks from animals everywhere and my husband knew them all and could tell me what they were. It was an interesting way of learning what kind of animals inhabit those woods, because the evidence was so abundant and clear. For instance, I had no idea there were wild turkeys in there. Our river is frozen over ... I might have mentioned that before. I have seen frozen lakes before, but a frozen river is altogether different from a frozen lake. It is so interesting to see evidence of the current still there, yet everything is standing still. And the lovely, ever constant sound of the river walking and running as it makes it way past the farm is gone ... suddenly. Everything is still and quiet. Fireflys River After the Ice StormSnow is piled in frozen piles upon piles all over the river and the entire mass of water has spread high and far as it expanded during the slow freezing process. A river is an organic living, moving, writhing thing. And ours has come to a stand still for a little bit. Awe ... that is what I feel. I have seen our lovely river now in almost all of its stages, from rushing by in early spring to this quiet sleeping giant and everything in between then and now. After our ice storm I saw it transformed into a magic glistening palace of sparkling, tinkling lights against a brilliant blue sky. I believe the only stage I have not witnessed yet is the cracking and breaking of the ice when the thaw inevitably begins ... almost there, just a few weeks to go. This weekend I finished knitting the puppy blanket for my son's new pup (free pattern here). I will packaging it up along with my favorite doggie bone (made by Hartz) as part of the Valentine's package of love and goodies I mail to my son this week. I will also be baking up a batch of my delicious Chip Chips cookies (perfect for Valentine's cookies I think) and will send at least a dozen as well as a batch of brownies to him. I found some funny little farm yard animal Valentine cards for school children at the store the other day, so will include some of those as well. Valentine's Day used to be, according to my husband, the "being alone suckiest" holiday of them all. Not now, no not for us. Which of course brings me to that moment at the airport in New York when my husband and I first met, face-to-face. When I last wrote of that day, I was in the restroom at the airport having just gotten off the plane. My hands were trembling too much for me to freshen my make-up, so I gave up trying and went back out into the corridor to make my way to him. It was a small airport, and he was waiting for me between the gate and baggage claim. He spotted me first, and evidently I looked rather silly because from his vantage point I was wandering down the corridor looking aimlessly up at the ceiling ... or something. (In fact, I was searching for signs telling me which way to go because I was so nervous I wanted to make sure I didn't wander off in some wrong direction.) I had warned him also that I am prone to falling down and that he should not be surprised if I was walking toward him smiling one moment and splat on the floor the next ... not to freak out or anything because it happens often enough I will most likely be okay. The first moment I saw him is burned in my mind as a crystal clear, moving image. Everyone else in the scene is a big blurry in the peripheral, but there he is at the end of the corridor with this big smile on his face. He was laughing of course, because I had looked so silly looking up the way I was, but to me it was just a very big, broad smile. The funny thing is that my nervousness instantly disappeared. I thought I would have a nervous stomach, but nope. I had the feeling that I had come home and that everything would be okay. When I reached the spot where he was standing we just smiled at each other and hugged and that was it. Ease. Comfort. Peace. Fireflys Hand Knit Puppy BlanketIt is such a remarkable thing to come face to face with someone for the first time and to just have everything slip right into place. Men have always made me nervous, made my stomach turn ... at times made me feel as if I was going to hurl ... even given me hives. But not this man. With him, it was all right and good and I could just be. Be. Oh, and ah. I had arrived and he was there and we were together. Wow, what a rush but what a peaceful rush. It was about eight-thirty or nine at night, so on the drive "home" (what a thought) I didn't get to see much of the environment. He picked me up in his pickup truck, and I saw right up next to him as we drove along on backroads and country roads making our way to the farm. When we pulled up in front of the place, I was struck by how large the house was. He pulled into the long, sweeping circle of a drive that goes from the side-yard area back through some trees and comes up to the back of the house and garage. Even at night, it was all so beautiful and fine to see. I caught a glimpse of the barn ... a farm and a barn and so much space surrounding us everywhere. This would be my home. He would be my husband. How life can work out sometimes. Inside the house, he gave me a tour and introduced me to the various rooms and amenities both upstairs and down. We went back downstairs and stood in the dinning room. He smiled down at me and then put his arms around me and slowly lifted me up into a big bear of a hug. Suddenly, one of my ribs pulled right out of place and we both felt it happen because of the closeness of the up-in-the-air hug. Whops. Our eyes got very big and we both said, "What was that?" He gently put me down and I felt my ribs to see if I could tell what had happened. It was a very wierd feeling, because it didn't hurt when it happened. I just felt strange to feel this bone move very noticeably out of place ... and for it to be a big enough of a feeling for the someone else who was hugging me to feel it happen as well. Fireflys Hand Knit Puppy BlanketAs my five-day visit progressed, so did the pain in my rib. I felt so bad for him, because I knew he felt awful for initiating the hug that made it happen. We both laughed about it ... although I winced whenever I laughed ... and we laugh about it still. It really is funny when you think about it, to start off this perfect romance with that kind of mishap. More importantly, a little while later that evening he gave me a special ring passed on to him from his grandmother and asked me to officially if I would marry him. Of course, I said I would. Joy. Comfort. A couple of night later we went out to dinner for the first time, at a wonderful Chinese restaurant up near Rochester. It was our first date, but we were already engaged. And, before we were engaged we had already set a date for our wedding which of course had happened before we had met. Everything was out of order and backwards, but perfect and divine. That evening and the following day I made phone calls to family and friends, telling them I was engaged to be married and would be doing so one month later and moving to New York. The shared joy along with surprise was a thrill to experience; the feeling of happiness was intense That was last spring, and here we are not even one year later. Things are even better than I thought they would be with us. He is even more than I had hoped for. I hope I am that for him as well. So now you know the whole story ... or the parts I was willing to share ... of how I met my husband. Have a gracious day. ~firefly

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