I walked home yesterday in the gloom. It wasn't late but it gets dark so early. The streets were empty, the snow mostly gone but for a few dirty piles. I could smell smoke from a wood fire, a smell that reminds me of chilly childhood winter afternoons at my grandparents place, wet shoes, walks in Sherbrooke Forest. For some reason, wet days and wood smoke make me feel lonely, or perhaps not lonely so much as yearning for a warm house full of people and food to share. It's a funny feeling because of course I was returning to exactly that.
It's been a lazy week for us here in Boston. After all the excitement of Nana and Pa arriving, Manhattan and Christmas I think we all felt like doing nothing much for a few days. The past week we've visited the Arnold Arboretum (a sort of Botanic Gardens run by Harvard University on a thousand year lease) for a lovely winter walk through their woods, gone ice skating, seen 'Frozen' on a particularly wet and miserable day and had dumplings at our favourite place for xiao long bao. After a few days I was feeling a bit strange, melancholy nearly, and realised that I hadn't done anything with my hands for some weeks.
The next day the girls and I made these little felt mice, inspired by a few I saw on Pinterest and in particular one that I can't find anymore so can't include the link. I felt a bit better but am now missing my sewing machine. I'm filling the void by purchasing fabric online...
Up till now we had largely planned our time, but from here till the end of January, we've nothing organised, which is quite exciting as there are so many possibilities. The weather means a few things are off the table - a ten hour tour of Gettysburg in sub-zero temperatures won't be welcomed by the girls for example- but also puts a few things on the table, like a ski trip to one or more of the many small ski fields New England offers. Tomorrow is New Years Eve and we will be going along to some of the First Night activities. I suppose the end of a year always calls for some reflection but I am not yet sure what to make of this year of 2013. Certainly the end has been a highlight, but the rest of it is a bit of a blur. I have much thinking to do about it all before I can adequately summarise it. For those of you for whom the end of 2013 has already arrived, Happy New Year. Here's to 2014.