Pizzelles, Pipes and Pond Skating

Night Skating

Yesterday morning, my daughters and I spent the morning visiting a local art teacher’s historic home.  Mrs. Link is a patron of Wing and a Prayer Farm’s eggs and chicken and I’d bartered a tour of her home after she’d ordered a Christmas roaster this fall.  She lives in a renovated mill between two creeks in our town and between the history of the mill/forge and her parent’s book binding shop that flourished for many years in the space, alongside her artist studio and many beautiful works, I knew that the girls would be as awed as I with a visit.  Not only did Kathy tour us through the amazing stone mill, but she pulled out the tooled and embossed tomes that her parents restored during the Gerhardt Gustav Gerhlach’s publishing days.  We capped the visit with a lesson in Pizzelle-making in her kitchen, just for fun.  We left feeling charmed and delighted with a plate of warm, sugary-snowflake cookies and inspired hearts.

I had a full afternoon of chores and errands but the warmth of the season continued with spontaneous visits along the way.

Then, last evening, Jody came in from the chores asking where we turn the water off to the barn.  Alarms went off in my head.

Fortunately Jim was right here and ran downstairs to turn the main water to the barn off, as I wouldn’t remember it in a timely fashion to save my life.  I have a mental block against things like that.  We had a burst pipe in our house before, many years ago, and had I known which valve to switch, there’d have been much less damage.  My tendency to question myself means that I can be overwhelmed with decision-making in an emergency situation.

An assessment revealed that the PVC pipe to the washroom is where the break occurred and it had leaked all above the sheep stalls, the tack room, and the washroom.  The goatsies were spared, thankfully, as they would’ve been so stressed, frightened and cold had they been assaulted for who knows how long. The sheep were out grazing, and I was happy Jody was out there on the early side of the evening.  Jim was able to remove the light fixture in the tack room, which was full of water, and today we have barn-swathing duties all.

Our merry band was not discouraged from our evening plans of ice skating, though, and after dinner we trooped our way to the pond.  Earlier Jim had started a fire in the skate shed wood stove and all of the skates were warm and supple for the first glide of the season.  The lights were on, the surface was nicely glazed, and the air was none too cold for our under-the-stars party.  Except that a cloud covered evening was more like it and that actually was in our favor keeping the temps quite mild.

Sarah Jane & Char’s friends who both play hockey were here to pass the puck with Jim & Jody.  I tried my hand at it for a while and got my bearings in record time.  It’d been two years since I’d been on the ice and my speed skates were like old friends.  SJ & Char were practicing their figures, the dogs hung out respectfully on the sidelines, and there was much jollity.  The ice is not so very thick as we’ve had a mild December but it is clear and the view into the darkened pond was enchanting.  Mostly the surface was clear, but an occasional scruff of bark or leaf tripped me and my long blades up enough to prevent me from confidently building my speed.  It was a good night just to get the rust off our blades and change the scenery up.

I awoke this morning from a disturbing nightmare about a tsunami engulfing me and my cats in my home.  I’ve had my international friends on my mind of late and it would seem that the combination of barn-drama and the weather disasters of Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand over the last couple of years had planted some unconscious seeds of worry.  The weather is considerably milder today, with rain on the roof as I type, and it will be a less glamorous day than yesterday with stalls and a tack room requiring an investment of labor.  Our New Year’s Eve plans are always low-key so preparation for festivities is minimal to none.

Interesting that the mild December temperatures would prevent us from getting on the ice before the end of the month, and ironic that when we could, it was the night that a frozen pipe burst in the barn.  Guess we are never so wise that we cannot learn a few lessons and enjoy beautiful moments of life all in the same day.

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