Drop dead gorgeous

Posted on March 2, 2014


It’s been a quiet week in Torch Lake Township. That is because we are all frozen solid. On Thursday I had to give up and order another tank of propane. That night Miss Sadie and the Cowboy were utterly uninterested in a nice walk under the stars. Two minutes flat and we were back inside under the afghan, lulled by the music of water kept running in the kitchen sink, as is proper in these parlous times.

Never take water for granted

I was glad the Duo came tearing back, because it was too darned cold to whistle. (I know how to whistle! Just put my lips together and . . . nothing. It was too cold to whistle!)  I hear it got down to -20° F.  The next morning we woke to a landscape that would have seemed familiar to Lara Antipova and Dr. Zhivago.  The phrase “drop dead gorgeous” slipped into my mind, where it does not generally reside.  It would, I mused, make a fine title for a mystery. It probably is the title of a mystery. The victim freezes solid . . . but keeps really well.

I headed for the kitchen to make coffee and detoured to grab the camera.  Through the kitchen window:

Drop dead gorgeous

Then from the deck (I shivered in the open door to take this picture):

Birches in the fierce cold dawn

Then I realized that it was too quiet.  The water had stopped running. I cursed Mama Nature roundly, left a mournful message for Jerry Bingham the Well Guy and banged around the house in a grumpy mood.

It’s not like I was alone in misery.  Out on the Flat Road Sue Swain and Shirley John had to shovel out the Verdant Ground wellhouse to thaw out the works. Up on the second ridge the supply to the horse barn where Monty, Joe and Malika reside froze. Wuff. I can bundle Miss Sadie and the Cowboy into the car and head off across the drumlins to acquire water for all of us. A person cannot do that with horses. A person has to apply ingenuity, determination and heavy equipment to the task of restoring order.

Monty, Joe and Malika

All of us have water again. I celebrated by making a nice big pot of chicken soup from a recipe by Nancy Krcek Allen that I cut out of the Record-Eagle.  (The R-E has gone pay-per-view online so I cannot give you a link, but Nancy has also written Discovering Global Cuisines which you can consult at a library near you or buy at your friendly neighborhood bookstore . . . )

Usually we take a certain perverse pleasure in our ability to deal with Real Winter, but I notice that most of us are pretty well sick of it at this point.  Sometimes we compensate by doing nice things for each other. When I stopped at my bank’s drive-in window the other day a little present came back with my receipt.

Presents from the Bank

Presents from the Bank opened

It is very nice to stop at the Bank and come away with excellent treats.  Really, how often does that happen?

Today is another pretty day, and still cold.  The water is running in the sink, as is proper.  (The sound makes me nervous whenever I notice it, and even more nervous when I don’t.)  Miss Sadie and the Cowboy are napping.  They are a happy Duo, as they had mushy bits from the chicken soup as garnish for their breakfast kibble.

Excellent garnish

They were so pleased that they looked at me adoringly for, oh, three seconds or so. I felt positively gorgeous, but definitely alive.