|December 1st  ||
It is a spur that one feels at this season more than at any other. How nimbly you step forth! The woods roar, the waters shine, and the hills look invitingly near. You do not miss the flowers and the songsters, or wish the trees or fields any different, or heavens any nearer. Every object pleases.... the straight light-gray trunks of the trees... how curious they look, and as if surprised in undress.|
-- John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine" (1875)
|December 2nd  ||Is it a Bevy of Swans or a Lamentation of Swans??? There seems to be differences of opinion about that, but there are at least 17 of them in this "group". Click HERE. (Thanks for the picture Jim.)|
|December 3rd  ||Look at this.......it's ice!!! It's difficult to see in the early morning darkness, but it's so thin and fragile that by the time the sky gets brighter it might be melted by the sun or broken up by a breeze. Click HERE.|
|December 4th  ||On this date two years ago, there was 11 inches of ice in the area where the front porch usually is.|
|December 5th  ||Three years ago today there were 5 ice fishing houses on LBL. Needless to say, this year there is still no ice to put a fishing house on.|
|December 6th  ||Three years ago tonight the temperature dropped to 27 below zero.......and we had temps of between 20 and 30 below zero (and often colder) virtually every night for the next few months. That was quite a winter! So far this year I think the coldest we've had was in the 20s ABOVE zero. With a start like that (even though it's still Autumn) this could be shaping up to be "quite a winter" as well.|
|December 7th  ||75 years ago today: A date which will live in infamy. Click HERE.|
|December 8th  ||
To see a small amount of snow (from yesterday) and an even smaller amount of ice, click HERE .
NOTE ADDED LATER:   It's a little difficult to tell, but all of the lake that is not covered with snow is open water, not ice. Apparently some people were confused about that.
|December 9th  ||We're still making ice.......not quickly, but steadily, and the weatherman says it should continue. Click HERE.|
|December 10th  ||
7:30 AM:   Wow! It got down into the single digits below zero last night, and from the living room window the lake appears to be frozen. If so, that's a lot of ice for one night. When it gets lighter I'll check from the top of the duplex and the public landing, then give you an update.|
10:00 AM:   There is NO open water out there. Last night the lake was, by far, mostly open water, and this morning it's totally ice covered. Amazing!!! That's 9 days earlier than last year (December 19th) and the second latest ever. It's also the 8th December freeze in the 18 years for which I have data. Click HERE.
|December 11th  ||Interesting ice crack patterns. Click HERE.|
|December 12th  ||Hey Steve F (in the Philippines), let me know if you see this.|
|December 13th  ||The temperature this morning is about 14 below zero. Beware the Pogonip!|
|December 14th  ||Saving energy (except for lamp oil and wood, of course) on a below zero night:   Click HERE.|
|December 15th  ||Beethoven's birthday is tomorrow, and if you're not prepared and you have to scramble around today to get ready for it, just remember.......I warned you. I gave you a 49 day heads-up. Look back at the Chronicles entry for October 28th.|
I'm sure Linus van Pelt is having a Birthday celebration today.|
Snow down state but not up here.......which seems to be typical in recent years.
| December 16th
|Christmas shopping and miscellaneous Christmas prep work. Sigh.......|
|December 18th  ||The Hawk is out. 30 below zero this morning.|
|December 19th  ||There are 2 ice fishing houses on Little Bass Lake. Actually they first showed up last Thursday (the 15th).|
|December 20th  ||
Tail gating at a Vikings game:|
The old way:   Standing by an open hatch-back next to a gas grill, eating brats, and drinking beer in sub-zero temperatures. Click HERE.
The modern way:   Sitting comfortably in three connected tents, complete with three heaters, two big screen TVs, and all the food and miscellaneous beverages a person could imagine. Click HERE.
|Winter Solstice  ||
It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.|
-- John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine" (1875)
Most likely Winter arrived before you got up this morning!!!!!
|December 22nd  ||It's that time of the year again.......deer, which we never see in the summertime, are all over the resort. Click HERE.|
|December 23rd  ||What in the world caused this? They came down my driveway from the road, then out onto the lake. Click HERE.|
|Christmas Eve||Click HERE.|
|Christmas Day  ||
The following words are an editorial that was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster and has been published annually in the Wall Street Journal ever since.
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar. Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.
But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?
There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, and disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?
Then, all of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's". And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me". And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth. So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.
And it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, "Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."
Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom. Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.
And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage".
|Boxing Day  ||This is a gift from Deb's Brother-in-law. Click HERE first. Then click HERE to see the gift. Thanks Guy!|
|December 27th  ||
|December 28th  ||
MOLLY:   You don't like New Years Eve? Are you insane? It's literally the best holiday ever. You just party all night and it doesn't matter what stupid stuff you do because the year's over and you get a brand new start in the morning.|
-- Hillary DePiano (2014)
The above quotation came from a work by Hillary entitled "New Year's Thieve", a short one-act play that can be read in a half hour or less. It's very appropriate for late December, and it's humorous but with a serious message. I think you'd really enjoy it and you can get the Kindle version from Amazon for only 99 cents, so download it and read it before New Year's Eve.
|December 29th  ||Thanks to Allie, Colleen & Kevin, Erin & Tom, Tim, Jesse, Fin, and Angie, for taking Deb and I out to dinner this evening at Longfellow Grill. It was a great time and a GREAT place to eat. Thank you very much you guys.......you're too good to me (which is something I've said in these Chronicles several times before).|
|December 30th  ||
What was that????
|New Year's Eve  ||
MURRY: Why do we even celebrate the New Year? It's just this arbitrary quirk of how we measure time in years, right? Midnight tonight is the very same transition from day to day that we do every 24 hours. Why? What makes midnight tonight any different?
MOTHER TIME: Life goes by so very fast, my dears, and taking the time to reflect, even once a year, slows things down. We zoom past so many seconds, minutes, hours, killing them with the frantic way we live that it's important we take at least this one collective sigh and stop, take stock, and acknowledge our place in time before diving back into the melee. Midnight on New Year's Eve is a unique kind of magic where, just for a moment, the past and the future exist at once in the present. Whether we're aware of it or not, as we countdown together to it, we're sharing the burden of our history and committing to the promise of tomorrow.
If you haven't already guessed, that's another quotation from "New Year's Thieve" by Hillary DePiano. See the December 28th entry (above).
PS:   According to English and German folklore, the first person you encounter in a new year -- and the nature of this encounter -- sets the tone for the rest of the year. A kiss is about strengthening ties you wish to maintain in the future. If a couple celebrating together doesn't take the time to lock lips, it doesn't bode well for the relationship. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!