Monday, November 28, 2011


"When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren't grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." - Cynthia Ozick, author

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sleeping In on a Snowy Day

Glittery, soft and thick.

From my vantage point, snuggled deep under down comforters, I can see that last night's snowfall has covered everything in a carpet of white, hiding the gardens not yet put to bed, the pumpkins still left from Halloween and the black plastic pots I left by the drive in the spring. My cat, stark black against the white, is sitting on the step by the front door, watching his newly transformed domain with yellow eyes.

Everything is silent...or almost silent. Cars travel slowly, their tires muffled against the snow and sand on the road. The voices in the village that carry down the street in the summer are no more than tones on the wind this morning. The town plow truck, rumbling with power, whooshes through, spraying wet snow to the sides.

In a few hours, my children will arrive- laughing, jumping, shouting, talking - the sounds are comforting, welcome even, in a house that echoes with quiet when they are gone. Their boots will break trails around the house and my carpet at the back door will be covered in snow. Toys and books will be scattered every which way - joyful chaos. I will coax a hot fire from our wood stove and we will read together on the couch, eating hot popcorn and drinking warm cider. We will talk about their week at school and what they did at their dad's. We will call California and chat with my family. We will snuggle.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and there are lists to write, pies to make, eggrolls to stuff and custards to set. My not-quite-clean house will be less clean than usual and I will turn a blind eye for the sake of my good humor and sanity.

In the meantime though, I will lay here a bit longer, warm and sleepy, writing for no other reason than to express my gratitude for cold snow and hot fires, noisy children and messy houses. It's a good life.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tiny and Squishy

I have had the utter fortune to bask in the pleasure of holding newborn babes these past few weeks.

Tiny and squishy babies.

I have loved every stage of childhood with my children, but there is something completely primal and basic about babies and the response their very presence brings out in me. Their scent is intoxicating, their skin silky and the way their tiny fingers curl around mine draws an audible and obvious squeak of pleasure from me.

My own babies are too grown up for me to poke, grab and hold in the crook of my arm, but I do still get a wonderful cuddle now and again that brings me right back to the long past days when I would fall asleep with them curled into my chest, their bodies imparting a delicious warmth on a cold night.

And their toes! I do miss baby toes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pies for People, Soup for Supper - One door closes...

Hardwick, VT, November 15, 2011 -With just hours left before our first of two bake nights for our annual Pies for People/Soup for Supper event, I find myself with a rare and quiet hour to reflect. Not on recipes, nor logistics or even hunger, but to reflect on kitchens.

Since its inception in 2009, when Julia Shipley organized the first pie bake, the kitchen at Sterling College, with its u-shaped counter sitting squarely beneath the hanging pot racks, has welcomed a cadre of volunteers to roll dough, simmer soup and bake pies. The ancient stoves and ovens never failed to fire up, every imaginable pot and gadget was within arm’s reach and we blasted the music from the beat up speakers that sat high above the stainless steel sinks. This year, sadly, is our last year to bake in this wonderful little kitchen on the Common.

Read the rest of my post on the Center for an Agricultural Economy's blog.