December 12

Posted on: December 13, 2012

With the temperatures as cold as they are, Lake Meade, our local inland lake, now has a few inches of ice.  Some of the braver, or more desperate, have moved their ice shanty’s in place to start fishing.  I wish them a lot of luck; personally, I’m terrified of being on ice.  I’ve seen too many break thru when they hit a thin spot.  Still it’s nice to see the town people doing something so ….. normal.  There were even a few ice-skaters out there too.  It’s interesting to see the transformation going on.  There are no lights for decorations, but I’m now seeing garlands of all colors going up; Wreaths on doors; cedar boughs on railings; and people walking around instead of driving. It’s looking like a Currier & Ives Christmas card!

Thinking of breaking thru ice reminded me of a story I read years ago, At Home In The Woods, where the young wife ice-skated to town down the frozen river.  She would carry a long tree sapling with her just in case she fell thru the ice; the pole would catch on the edges and she wouldn’t sink. Yikes!  That gave me shivers up my spine then and it still does!

3 thoughts on “December 12

  1. agreed — especially about wanting more.
    Although it’s a good thing to have it dispensed in small doses.. helps me “get stuff done”… ;-D
    A stick for an ice crossing is a good idea… I assume the people also had a way to start a fire (for drying out/living) if they actually did fall thru.. I would not wanna be in those very cold soggy shoes….
    I read a book once about a girl who needed to leave an island but had no boat. She waited till winter, then walked out on the ice each day with a large rock… she tossed it in front of her when she got uncertain of the ice. When it broke thru & went into the water, she knew the ice there wasn’t able to support her weight. Eventually she was able to get all the way across to shore. Tedious though.
    I live where people routinely ice-fish & I still marvel.”But how do you KNOW the ice will support you?” I ask. They just laugh.

  2. Was reading a couple of books by “Woodswoman” Anne Labastille and her writings reminded me so much of you! There is a major time warp however, because in her day (1960-70’s) the Adirondack lakes that she lived on allowed her to drink straight from the water. Amazing, isn’t it, how a few short years can make a previous practice impossible?
    Anyway, she lived on the shores of Black Lake and often used the iced over lake as a more direct route to town during the wintertime-she too carried such a stick to help her in case of the ice breaking.
    She built her own cabin from scratch, with a little help from her friends, and lived an entirely off-grid existence long before we were calling it “off-grid”.
    Always enjoying your installments, but like everyone else, wanting MORE!

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