about bliss

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

winter records

My first winter back in Michigan after living in Alabama for 6 years and Georgia for one year shocked me with freezing temperatures and seemingly endless snow. My family joked that an especially cold winter was a welcome home gift for me.

Now, here I am, my first winter in Wisconsin, and it's a winter for the records. The snowiest January in a decade. Long stretches of days in the single digits.

A truly frigid morning: -11 degrees, with a -40 degree wind chill. Certain we would have a "cold" day, if not a snow day, I camped out on the couch watching the school closings scroll at the bottom of the tv screen to no avail.

As I headed outside into the insanely cold weather, a line from *Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer* zipped into my mind: "weather not fit for man nor beast."

Welcome to Wisconsin?!?

Monday, January 21, 2008

this one's for the cheeseheads

from wikipedia, licensed via GFDL

Assimilation happens slowly, with small yet seismic jolts underneath the surface. Somehow I think that dreaming about Brett Favre two nights before the NFC championship is one such subliminal shift. And, NO, it wasn't that kind of dream.

Sadly, the god-like Favre and the good ol' Pack suffered a heartbreaking loss on the frozen tundra. A collective tear was shed by the entire dairyland state. And, yes, I did watch a good 1/3 of the game. I had to. I'm in Wisconsin now. Assimilation is at work. The frozen tundra, incidentally, is also not a joke. A deep, soul-drenching cold has submerged my new state and now snow falls in small squalls and swirls (apparently I'm fond of s-alliteration this evening...).

And so, another move, another place slowly becoming home, another winter, with bone-chilling and soul-testing depths of cold and barrenness.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

new home

I'm watching the sky turn from grey (where it's been stuck all day) to dark. Right now it's at that moment of slate blue before slipping into sapphire and then black. My East wall is predominantly windows, affording me a lovely view of the lake over and through the rooftops, electric wires, and satellite dishes of neighboring homes. That's what this photo represents. Unfortunately, on gloomy winter days, the lake melts into the sky (or vice versa), but trust me, it's out there.

Join me, won't you, for a little tour of my new home: the aforementioned window filled room is the living room, with cozy booknooks, and a comfy couch to stretch out on and watch Lake Michigan, fat squirrels that eat the fallen bird seed, or small and colorful birds who perch on the feeder.

Now, head west, and you're in the kitchen, the literal and figurative heart of my home. Newly redone, the kitchen features a glasstop cooktop with warming center, a hot water dispenser, quiet dishwasher, many lights, and a pass through window that also provides views of the stupendous Lake Michigan. A portable Island is a good place to eat and read, or to set up my laptop.

In the front of the house you'll find two bedrooms, one decked out in pink and green and serving the dual purpose of guest room and study; the other, with amethyst walls and light blocking shades, is the perfect bedroom for sleeping long and late.

Finally, highlights of the bathroom include a pedestal sink, and a shower with a rainhead. The other lovely trick is that the door won't stay open--allowing it to naturally close holds the heat in the small room and makes for a gentle start to the day with a warm shower.

So, please, come and visit! I've already hosted my Michigan moving crew (Mom and Dad, though they only saw the place in disarray), the VP (who spent an afternoon enjoying tea, cocoa, and chocolate pound cake), and my Grandma C is on her way for this coming (and very cold) weekend.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

goodbye, michigan

My holiday visit to the magical mitten draws to an end after nearly two weeks of relaxation and reconnection. Today my parents are driving me back to Wisconsin to help me start moving into my new place (hoorah!).

I enjoyed catching up with college friends at one very pink first birthday party for little S; a day of tromping around in the woods and chatting with best friend S; a lunch of spinach feta quiche and darjeeling tea at Schuler’s Bookstore and Cafe in East Lansing and an afternoon shopping with best friend H; a delicious breakfast (cranberry oatmeal pancakes) at Morningstar Cafe with my grandparents; a vigorous yoga class; breakfast, lunch, and shopping at Zingerman’s with S; watching Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1960 production of *Cinderella* with my Mom, Grandma, Aunt B, and cousins F, N, A, S; cooking with my family; sharing a Christmas eve cocktail with my brother L; and spending lots of quality time with my mom and dad, shopping, eating, walking in the woods, drinking wine, watching movies, and chatting.

Now it’s time to establish some new routines and goals, starting with moving to my new adorable apartment with lovely accoutrements.

I’ll miss the quiet beauty of my parents’ house in winter on days like yesterday and today when snowflakes alternate with searingly gorgeous blue skies, drawing a sharp distinction between black tree branches and fluffy, sparkly white snow lining the woods and draping over pine boughs.