The World Stands Still on a Frozen Dime

6:45 am today

I popped my head into the taxi’s open window to let him know my flight had been cancelled. He was wearing one of those thick, wooly snow caps with ear flaps. He said, “Gotcha. It’s a mess out there.”

I run back up the sidewalk, carefully!, but not before I have surveyed my silent, blackened neighborhood. There is one street light on; it sends powdery orange beams through our towering, now frozen, live oak. Every single branch and leaf is covered in ice and it all looks so delicate. If I picked up a rock and threw it, I think the whole tree would shatter and tinkle and cascade blades of winter water’s ice everywhere.

To myself: I thank my neighbors, silently, and ask God to bless this neighborhood, the taxi man out working on slippery streets, bless my dog as she joins me, running over to pee in the crystallized bushes. (My dog runs over to pee, by the way, not me. Poor sentence structure!)

So much has happened since my last blog. I’ve baked homemade brownies, homemade chocolate chip cookies. I’ve stoked the fire, I’ve watched the lazy spiral of dancing snowflakes,
I’ve stood in awe as the world became a blanket of white. I asked Lance the other day why snow makes things seem so quiet, and he answered in his pragmatic way, “Because the clouds are heavy and low….when it is clear, blue skies and cold, you can actually hear Mopac from here. The sound can move farther in clear weather.”

I love asking Lance questions. I feel like the child on grandpa’s knee. I can say, “Honey, where is the La-ti-da?” And he ALWAYS knows how to get there…

“Well, you take blah-blah street about two miles, take a left at Appleton, then about twenty seven inches to the port-o-potty near Hansen’s Deli and zippity-doo-dah, if you aren’t in their parking lot!”

He’s lived in Austin a lo-o-o-ong time. Centuries. I married a smart cookie with the consistent patience of the sun and a heart of contentment.

Speaking of the man, Lance and I took a cooking class at Central Market last week. We were given the class of our choice as RESEARCH, because I have my own cooking class on March 1, my birfday! The chef, Paul, stood behind a prepped counter with a giant mirror hanging above, angled just right, so all of us newbies, sitting out in comfy seats at long tables, can watch how recipes are flushed out. Not only is it fun to watch how he prepares the food, but the quiet movements of his assistants bringng him ingredients was a culinary ballet! AND we get to sample everything he makes so that by the time the program was over, we’d had a five course meal, complete with two glasses of wine, or all the tea, water and coffee we wanted.

I’m really excited to host a night and be a guest chef! When they called to invite me, they told me what nights they still had available, so I jumped on the chance to DO something on my birthday. I chose Thai, cuz between that and Indian, you can’t go wrong. I’ll be creating a five course meal, as well, so come THAI ONE ON with me! Ha ha ha! I’ll probably make up some songs about mangos and pad thai! We’ll have a coconut cake, my favorite!

We’ve had two days of cancelled school, so we’ve been enjoying the girls enjoying the snow/ice. Lance, Lucky and I walked to the store yesterday while the girls were out with friends sledding. That was fun, crunching on the ice, hands nipped by winter’s chill, watching Lucky step gingerly over wet spots, getting to our neighborhood grocer’s and exchanging smiles with everyone along the way. I love the feel of cold air in my warm lungs. It really wakes up your soul!

I also performed in La Grange at the Bugle Boy on Saturday night. What a lovely place! It used to be a Sons Of Hermann hall, and Lane Gosnay has turned it into a songwriter’s sanctuary, with the original wooden floors (square nails!) worn just so from years of previous slow dancing and jitterbugs, and drapings of light colored silk tacked from wall to wall to create a sort of dreamy ceiling, complete with miniature white christmas lights….Sofas and coffee tables and chairs fill out the long room, and the sound man, Pete, did a fine job of making us sound
like pros! They serve coffees, fruit juices and milkshakes…..MMM…..

Then Kristin and I spent the night with our good friends, Mike and Ginger, out at their exquisite ranch. I know “exquisite” and “ranch” seem like oxymorons, but really, this place is so magical and lush….with horses and llamas and donkeys and a labrynth for spiritual contemplation and fishing holes (full of fish…I know….my daughters fished there last fall and were just hauling ’em out with every cast!) and a handbuilt house complete with loft and RV chalet. Their kitchen rocks….a huge gathering table via a floating dinner table that can seat 12 comfortably. So we always gather around for food and drinks and end up sitting for hours talking about nothing and everything. Very relaxing way to start the new year: music and foods.

I shall wander back to bed now, and just indulge in some good sleepy time.

2 Comments on “The World Stands Still on a Frozen Dime”

  • andy-dog


    Lovely blog, dear one. I was relieved to note that it was the dog who peed in the frozen bushes. Tell the lovely Kristin that I am still waiting and still curious about the present she made for us…has she ever heard of the USPS?
    I will tell the Maddening Ghost you said hello- I noted the post time of 4:53 am- it dropped in on me just now at 1:51! Hey M.D.! Howya’ doin’?

  • John Kelly


    During the blizzard last month, we lost power intermittently twice while I was shovelling at night (Christmas lights told the story), and then it went out for 4 hours. The snow was coming down 3 inches an hour and there was no way my little Civic hybrid was getting me anywhere with the road conditions.

    Without any house lights or street lights and in the dead quiet snowfall, it seemed positively 18th Century. I thought of the poor repairfolk who must be facing an awful task on our behalf, and how long it might take to restore power. Knee deep snow–night–cold–electricity…Yikes!

    A little concerned about my situation, I sealed up the house to hunker down for the night. I used advent candles to conserve flashlight batteries, and was greatly relieved when I realized our gas stove would still work. A nice cup of hot chocolate brighted the mood considerably.

    It has surely been a winter to remember.

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