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SnowyLanternDecember 2009 was quite a month. Besides the usual holiday hustle, we had a week’s worth of freezing weather and then a couple of days of snow. Icy days I was prepared for. I covered things that needed covering out in the garden, except for the 8 foot tall Eucalyptus that died back to the ground last year. Perhaps they may turn into very large annuals every year. I’m debating about that. I might replace them with Eucs that are hardier and therefore survive to grow taller, which is why I am growing them in the first place. Then there was the snow.

Every year I get together with a couple of my dearest friends for Christmas High Tea at the Heathman in downtown Portland. We arrived at 1 p.m. sharp to begin tea. No rain. Just clouds out there. A typical December day. During considerable conversation, we browsed our way through tiny cucumber sandwiches, mini-pita pockets, chocolate cupcakes and lemon bars. When we considered ourselves fortified in mind and body, we headed for the door only to discovered large, fluffy snowflakes floating delicately to the sidewalk and evaporating. At least they temporarily disappeared. After we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, I quickly headed for my car across the street. Once I was out of the garage and onto the city streets, so was everyone else. During my hour and a half drive home (the one that normally takes 20 minutes), I just tried to enjoy the snow. Snug in my 4-wheel drive RAV4 with new tires, I was more worried about the crazies who’d never driven in snow. As soon as I turned onto my street, I saw our house and garden cloaked in snow. The next morning, I went out into the garden to see what I could see in all of the snow. Ever noticed how quiet a garden is with a few inches of snow? Exquisitely silent, with all bones showing and none of the weeds. It’s hard to say that in mid-summer. I enjoy it when I get it, because it is always an exceptional experience.

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