..........a blog about food, travel, gardening, and living the good life in Arizona.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Winter in Nebraska is no slice of heaven. In my opinion, you need to go further south or west if it’s heaven you’re seeking. The snow is beautiful; it makes everything look sleepy and peaceful. And when the sun shines, you’d swear you were some place extraordinary, like Vail or Aspen except there are no mountains here. But never mind that, winter is about more than gorgeous scenery and lower temps. It’s a cozy season of slowing down, reflecting and contemplating. I think God made winter for this very purpose so I’m grateful I live in a place where I can take full advantage of it. 

Over several days of sub-freezing weather and a flu-stricken husband, I left the house only to feed the birds and fetch the mail. Today he’s better, so I’m heading into town to Walmart and the library. I’m careful driving down our snow- and ice-packed lane as I pass the large snow angel our neighbor made with her brand new car earlier in the day. Some husbands would pitch a fit over a little thing like that, but I think her's was secretly delighted for the opportunity to use his vintage John Deer tractor to rescue her.

The road to town is clear and nearly dry even while piles of dirtying snow stand watch on either side. My thoughts wander back to just 2 months ago when I was sipping sangria in an outdoor café in southern Spain. We explored seaside towns, delighted in the flavors of Mediterranean cuisine and eagerly anticipated the next day's adventure. And now… I’m going to Walmart and the library in a small mid-western town in the frigid fly-over state of Nebraska. This is a slice of my life… a study in contrasts, a “moveable feast” (I like those words together, thank you E.H.).

Which is why I’m headed to the library; I need a little more of Spain today. I just finished reading The Paris Wife which is, of course, about Paris but also about Spain. It's the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife with whom he spent his early years in Paris and their travels to Spain before he became famous. I loved the book, but as with most of the women surrounding Hemingway, the story of Hadley Richardson very quickly becomes about Ernest. And though the author, Paula McClain, did a masterful job crafting Hadley’s personality and her life with Ernest in Paris, I only wanted to know more about him when the book ended. I realized I’d not read any of his work… not in high school nor college. So off I went in search of The Sun Also Rises which is about his travels in Spain and considered to be his best work. 

Next stop Walmart for a few necessities and a light bulb that Jack needs for his shop. Everything seems to be on sale today and many shelves that just a few weeks ago were packed with Christmas decorations, lights and ornaments now stand empty… all the sparkle and color of Christmas is gone. But wait! what’s that down at the end of the aisle so colorful and bright? Seed packets and seed starting kits?

Even though I’ve already received about a dozen seed catalogs in the mail, I wasn’t really inspired until I saw these signs of Spring at Walmart on this freezing cold winter day. Driving home I start planning my Spring garden in my mind and tonight I’ll settle into my comfy chair by the fire, browse the seed catalogs and imagine Spring with the most grateful heart I can muster. And maybe read some Hemingway.

1 comment:

  1. You are my Shakespeare at home. JC