As a small child, I remember the weeks before Christmas walking on a snow covered sidewalk at my mother's side as she shopped on Winchester Avenue in Ashland, Kentucky. Those warm memories established the standard and expectation for a winter's snow during the Christmas season. Now, as an adult in southern Ohio, I can recall few days in December with temperatures below 40 or any snow accumulation before Christmas. As a result, each year I find myself having trouble getting into the 'Christmas spirit' until afterwards in January when an appreciable snow finally falls on a cold night leaving a beautiful blanket in its wake.
Tonight, arriving at the cabin after daylight retired, I find the peace and silence of a cold winter night with gentle falling snow taking me back to years gone by. The forest is very silent and dark under an overcast sky while snow flakes, in the absence of a breeze, fall gently to the ground. With an ambient temperature below 20, the flakes crystallize before landing while making a soft bed on the porch steps sparkling like thousands of diamonds and jewels. The beauty of this sight under the reflection of security lights is picturesque.
Opening the cabin door, the warmth inside was a pleasant reminder of the time and effort taken to install insulation in both the walls and ceiling; the cabin was tight and cozy and ready for this run of inclement weather.
Inside with Kuma once again at my side, I settled into the recliner with a snack pack of Cheez-its. I've said this before but it's still true; a Labrador and a pack of Cheez-its is more fun than a pet coon. Kuma might be aging but a single Cheez-it flying through the air off the flip of a finger brings out a dog's youth and agility.
You can only throw so many cheese squares from a snack pack before it's finally empty; to Kuma's disappointment our rewarding game had to end. However, not before inverted wine bottles in the wine bush on the hearth caught my eye and called to my palette. A 2010 Blue Fish Riesling was Wednesday evening's selection that provided closure to a silent winter night in the woods.