Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Pre-Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I guess technically it is currently Thanksgiving since my computer tells me it is 0:32.

Why the HELL am I being deluged with this Black Friday bullshit?  Either I developed extremely selective amnesia in Togo, or at some point the commercial world suddenly decided it cared more about the day after Thanksgiving than the holiday itself.   Seriously, its like Thanksgiving just became Christmas Eve.

This will be my first Thanksgiving in the US since 2009.  As well as the first time I will see all of my siblings in one room since I don't know when. 

The UP was a lot of fun.  We stood on the shore of lake michigan at dawn.  It was one of those dawns when the sun didn’t bother to come up and the water and the sky interlocked on the grey slate horizon like angry lovers.  Whitecaps crowning roiling swells boiled on forever. The wind blew like we weren’t there, pelting us with bits of frozen spray and not even deigning to laugh as it went past.  I stood there on a bit of sand, squinted into the wind, and saw the end of 10,000 worlds echoing in the mist between water and sky.

Now it is cold.  I have spent a lot of time splitting wood for our wood stove because I dislike being cold.  We are borrowing a log splitter.  It is a nice machine.  Makes life a lot easier.  I can almost imagine a west African's reaction to seeing one in action.

Its been snowing off and on.  Nothing to major yet.  I love watching snow.  I forgot how blowing snow in car headlights can give you the feeling of utter isolation.  It is nice until you remember that you are going 50 mph down the road and need to watch out for stuff. 

It is the time of year when ragged clouds scurry across the face of a depthless sky on a harsh north wind like the hounds of a thousand frozen hells are nipping at their heels. 

I enjoy the feeling of getting things packed up for the winter.  Dad and I power washed the combine, cleaned it out, and stowed it and the rest of the machinery away in the barn.  Power washing in 40 degree weather sort of sucks.  And the combine has 10,000 nooks and crannies that collect dust, dirt, oil, grease, and other assorted crud.  Now at least it looks more yellow than brown.  When we were done, I closed up the barn, probably until spring. 

In Togo right now, it is Harmattan, when the trade winds shift and blow north to south and cover much of sub-Saharan Africa in a blanket of dust.  People there are harvesting, and stowing their produce in anticipation of the hot season, when nothing grows and all you want to do is sit under a mango tree and dream of rain.  Sort of like it is here, except you want to take clothes off rather than put them on.  They could never dream of being this cold.  Imagine having no idea that the ground freezes.  Or what an icicle is. 

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