Not Out in the Snow

Yesterday it snowed most of the day. Today there was fresh snow on the ground, flurries on and off. I work in lots of different places, with no office or standard workplace to speak of. Yesterday and today I hung out in a library, meeting students.

The place is well lit, with lots of windows. I sat next to the windows, facing into the building so students could find me. But I turned around a lot. Sometimes, when I had a moment, I would stare out there. I would watch the snow fall, look at the piles of it. I would imagine being out in it.

I wasn’t in the middle of nowhere. I was next to a parking lot. But I have a good imagination. I imagined, in a few spare moments, being in the wilderness, skiing where the wind provides the only sound aside from the shush of skis. The Wind River Range in Wyoming, the mountains of Idaho, the Green Mountain Ridge. I thought of these places I had been.

Two days ago I worked in a windowless conference room. It was snowing like crazy and I didn’t know it for hours. This morning, at least, I did get out in it. I skied several laps around the meadow. It was just light enough. I had to break new tracks in places where the wind had filled them in. A Great Horned Owl hooted in the woods. A couple of crows called back and forth. Snow Buntings trilled across the road. Then I went to the library.

I will ski again tomorrow. Maybe in the mountains, maybe right here. We’ll see what happens. I might read for a while, looking out at the snow from the warm house. But I won’t do that in the library. I’ve spent enough time there this week.

Singalong and Wrapped Stuff

Last night we went to the town library for a singalong.  It was sporadically advertised and not on their web site, our usual source of programming information.  We did find out late yesterday afternoon that it was on, so we rallied the kids after dinner and headed over.

My daughter’s music teacher was the piano player.  She was friendly and good with the children and had, perhaps to the detriment of the event, a fine singing voice.  We used a songbook from 1960, still in use after four decades.  This particular songbook contained lots of songs for people who sing well.  Think The First Noel and We Three Kings.  We did sing Frosty the Snowman (not in the book) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (also not in the book) and had a generally good time.

The children colored the pages left on the back table with crayons and markers.  They also offered snacks–cookies and punch.  Of course, the last thing our children needed was sweets.  Candy canes, chocolate, cookies at home.  They have been getting it all these days.  Bad parents, mostly, I suppose.  But they had some cookies, and so did I.  All the other kids did as well.

There were many children there.  They seemed to have fun.  We even checked out some new books while we were there.  Our previous books were overdue, as usual.  We had to use my wife’s libary card.  I couldn’t find my wallet before we left.  I looked and looked and I just figured I must have left it in jacket pocket or some such.  I didn’t find it last night.

This morning it showed up.  Our kids have been into pretending to wrap presents lately.  They have been wrapping everything they can get their hands on.  We recently had to impose a rule that they only wrap art that they make themselves.  Things kept going missing.  My wallet, despite the prohibition on wrapping objects that might have some value if hidden and unable to be found, was the latest object to disappear into the wrapping hole.

I was with-wallet today and used it when I took my son to the Hinesburg winter farmer’s market.  I only purchased two donuts, along with some squash.  I ate most of the donuts, maybe subconsciously to get back at him for hiding my wallet, but really more because, again, he has lots of sweets these days.  But then, maybe I do, too.

Thinking About the Library

I got an email from a friend today suggesting a book I might read (it is The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up, by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher; I know little about it but it does sound interesting).  She works in a library so I might just have to borrow it.  In any case, this has me thinking about libraries and our town library in particular.

I love our town library.  I just went to the library’s web site and found that it has been updated with a sleek new look.  Searching the card catalog was a snap as the site has a menu bar for this purpose right at the top.  They did not have the book, I am afraid, but the search feature sure was handy.

We have spent a lot of time there with our children.  Not so much, lately, as our schedules have changed enough that it is not as easy as it once was to get there, but it is still a treat to linger for a while.  They have toys–cars, trains, little people, and so on–so my little boy has a blast whenever we go.  My daughter loves books so the place is dreamy for her.  It means a (mostly) quiet time where everyone is happy for at least a short time.

I spent the day in a different library, meeting students.  Surrounded by books, it is hard not to want to simply drop everything and read.  I used to spend lots of time reading but that time has been reduced over the past several years.  I love to read and I want to make sure that my children see me reading, so I need to poke my nose into books at time other than after those children are asleep.

I am just about through reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s This Land is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation.  It has been an interesting read.  I need a couple more books on deck, however, so I think I will take a trip to our awesome library.  The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up and I will have some time to flip a few pages.  I look forward to that time.  I should make sure I sit where my children can see me read.  They may not let me, preferring to climb on my lap and read a book of their choice to them.  But that will work for me just as well.