Saturday 20 December 2014

Winter thoughts . . .

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Brrrrr . . .it's very cold this morning and the wind is howling down the chimney.  We have no snow of course.   I don't remember a Christmas yet that I have spent here in the UK with snow on the ground.  I do miss the snow at Christmas time, but I am quite happy not to have it the rest of the year.

I love that first snowfall of the year. We don't get a lot of snow over here, which makes it even more special. There is magic watching those first few tranquil flakes float down . . . first a few and then a few more . . . flakes falling faster and faster and with purpose. The stone walls silver over and puddles glass over as all begins to wear a mantle of white. The trees cast feathers of snow from their branches as the inside of the house takes on a luminous glow . . . whilst outside the sharp etchings of November begin to blur . . .

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The cold weather brings more birds to our feeders  . . . we fill them each day now . . . with cracked seed and nuts, millet and mealy worms . . . stale bread from the table and fat balls of suet. The trick is so get up high enough so that Mitzie can't get at it. The air rings with their chatter . . . tits, nuthatches, sparrows . . . a pair of goldfinches, our resident wood pigeon and a lone blackbird. If we are lucky the robin comes along . . . seemingly unafraid of human companionship. He often is our companion when we are out digging in the garden . . . always only a few feet away waiting for a fat worm to appear between the tines of our garden fork . . . but there are no worms today . . .

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They are all hungry and waiting for our ministrations, which we happily apply. Little heads popping in and out of our frozen hedge as the sun begins to gild the top of it's frost covered greenery. The hedge flutters with the beat of a thousand wings . . . and it makes me wish that I had wings that I too, could beat . . . winter has arrived . . .

Winter came down to our home one night 
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow, 
And we . . .  we were children once again. 
~Bill Morgan, Jr. 

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Fading is the month of dramatic sunsets. The air fills with the sharp smell of burning wood, wet earth and rotting leaves . . . now laying crisp and frozen beneath our feet, whilst the wind picks up a tang which sets our blood to a quicker rhythm. Our steps are brisker, wanting to get to where we need to go . . . quicker, braced for the cold. Noses tingle and fingers burn . . .

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As the sun grows smaller so too does our world diminish in size. Life now centers around the hearth . . . there is much to do in the garden . . . but for now it lays quietly waiting . . . brooding beneath the leafless trees. It is as if nature is whispering . . . time to rest for a bit, sleep and wait . . . tis time now to slow down . . . Winter is on the doorstep . . .

Of winter's lifeless world each tree 
Now seems a perfect part; 
Yet each one holds summer's secret 
 Deep down within its heart. 
~Charles G. Stater  

I'm going to bake my mince pies today and gingerbread men.  I got a new gingerbread man cutter.  It's for a shorter, fatter gingerbread man.  I might stamp some words on them . . .  we will see how it goes.  I am tempted to stamp "Bite Me" on them, but although it would not be meant as rude, it might be seen as rude so I won't.  Maybe I will just stamp some Christmas words such as Joy and Peace and Love . . .

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

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 "And when we find him, will we be prepared 
as were the wise men of old 
to provide gifts from our many treasures? 
They presented gold, frankincense and myrrh. 
These are not the gifts Jesus asks of us. 
From the treasure of our hearts 
Jesus asks that we give of ourselves: 
 'Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind' 
(D&C 64:34)."
~Thomas S Monson

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Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . . . Lemon Meringue Cookies.   Delicious!

Have a fabulous Saturday.  If you are out and about go safely.  It will probably be manic out there today.  Last Saturday before Christmas!

Don't forget . . .

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  1. I cannot believe Christmas is days away. While you are cold we are warm as warm. Most of Pip's gingerbread is gone now. She loves the stuff.

    We had some Mormon Elders at the door today. They seem so young to be called Elder. They asked me if they could help with anything and I almost said they would be free to declutter...mum would have my hide.

    God bless your day.

  2. Thank you again for these lovely words about Winter Marie, You have such a wonderful way with words...Looks cold down here as well but I havn't been out yet. Have to go out to Chippenham with Peter and Mary we go so that we are therefor 9 so we can hopefully park Then i go straight to see Margaret she is very unwell this week and has just called and said she may be in bed when I get there and she is longing to see me said with such feeking....I don't like these words...she is not usually like that..(.think you might get my meaning 0/
    Anyway prayers are needed please Marie..

  3. They are pretty young Suzan. I just admire them so much for what they do. I know it is very hard for some of them, and they experience a lot of rejection at times and downright meanness, but they also experience many blessings from doing what they do and will experience these blessings their whole life through. As will their families and their request to help you out is very sincere. They are always willing to serve in any capacity. Bless your day too. I hope it's not too hot! xoxo

    I do get your meaning Sybil and will be keeping you BOTH in my deepest most heartfelt prayers today. ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))
    stay safe and stay warm. xxoo

  4. Actually one of them was looking at one of the books I have put out to send to church. I said he could take it and read it but he declined and said he was too busy. The book was "The Last Lecture". I don't think it could be too out there or are they not allowed to read anything but church readings for the year?

  5. I think basically they are encuraged to immerse themselves in and to read the Scriptures for the two years they are out. Their days are very structured and they do not have much free time at all, so his statement about being too busy is probably very true! They have alloted times for exercise and for scripture study, prayer, sleep, etc. and of course most of their time is spent sharing the Gospel. xx

  6. December certainly flew by..
    Lovely winter words Marie..
    I am the same way about Bite me:)

  7. It has just evaporated Monique! So so fast! xxoo

  8. You make it all sound so inviting and magical. Which it really is!
    :-) xoxo

  9. Not the least because I'm here, lol Just kidding! Love and hugs, xoxo


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