Saturday, November 22, 2008

Early evening cup of hot tea

PG Tips. Always the perfect thing.

The temperature was down to five degrees (F) Thursday night. Today has been more pleasant, hovering around freezing, and we woke up to some snow. It was dark already at five. I wasn’t paying attention to when the sun actually went down. It’s earlier every evening, making for long cozy evenings.

I started reading just the perfect sort of book for an evening like this. Big Mutt is a book that Daddy read aloud to us on winter evenings when I was little. We loved it. He read many chapter books to us about animals in the winter, but this was a special favorite. I haven’t read it for about ten years, and am thoroughly enjoying the rereading of it. North Dakota. In the winter. Sheep herders and wild dogs. A boy who loves the wild things.

“Water from countless tearing floods had cut this deep gully. The whole area was a network of gullies, making it worthless for grazing. Here, numerous families of coyotes had made their dens. It was the scent of one of these that came sharply to the big mutt’s nostrils.
It was a lucky find for him, because the old male that was head of this family of five coyotes had hidden their den skillfully. The coyotes heard the big mutt crashing through the deep snow, and scurried out into the storm, rather than fight him. They had worn a little winding path up the steep wall. They fled in single file, snarling silently, the old he-coyote in the lead.
The dog let them go and crawled into their warm cave, which they had padded with grass and the roots of grass. A badger had first built this home, and the coyotes had driven him out and enlarged it to suit their needs. It was low down in the side of the gully, well hidden, protected from the wind, yet high enough so that not even the deepest spring floodwaters would enter.
The dog lay down contentedly in his warm bed. He groaned and scratched and stretched, and his New York license tag tinkled against the small brass plate on his collar…
All night the blizzard howled, and when he awakened in the morning it was still raging. The onslaught of snow blotted out roads, covered fences, filled ditches, and piled in mountainous drifts that snapped telephone poles and trees. Farmers were cut off from towns, and towns from each other. Highway traffic ceased, and the trains stopped running as the big rotary snowplows stalled.”*

My dear siblings know what brings me joy to have in my home and gift me with copies of treasures from the shelves of Mama and Papa’s house. This was one such present on my birthday from my brother. Said brother is spending his days in a deer stand this weekend. Brrr.

*(pp. 18-19, Big Mutt by John Reese, 1952)


Melissa said...

Oh. Who knew that a passage from Big Mutt would flood me with such nostalgia? I don't think I ever really sat down and listened with you all. I'm sure I was washing to say? But it was like life/atmosphere wallpaper. Good memories. Thanks, Kat.

Mrs. Rabe said...

PG Tips is my favorite - have you ever tried their special blend? I found it on a vacation to Williamsburg earlier this year. Yum...I just finished a cup myself!

Thank you for sharing an excerpt from this book - I am going to try to find it - we love books like this too! We are always on the look out for great books!

Paula said...

Dearest Katie,

Your candles and tea look so warm and inviting. I see sweet Greta Rose! I hope you all are staying warm!

I enjoyed the excerpt from the book. Thank you for sharing. That is so sweet of your siblings to gift you with copies of books that you loved from your Mama and Papa's house.

Blessings, Paula

Danielle said...

Lovely as always...

With the weather getting cooler, I've been consuming my tea like a mad woman and I only have 2 tea bags left! Scary thought to be left without tea...