Thursday, December 22, 2005
The mail is full of wonderful Christmas cards every day. They make me feel guilty. So I spent most of the day trying to write a Christmas letter, because a simple signed card just isn't my style. I laboriously built a chronology of our year, and it was so awful even I couldn't read it. I realized that my favorite Christmas letters go down like a shot of egg nog--smoothly, sweetly, with humor as their vehicle. So I junked the chronology and decided to take a walk. Gathered the kids and Chet and took off into the clear, cold air.
And like most walks, it cleared my mind. When I came back, I was ready to summarize the year in 500 words. I realized that nobody wants to hear exactly when we did this or that, who won what, or where we went and when--they want to know if we're OK, to get some impression of how the year's been, and to smile.
Winter sun--it was made to shine through a redhead's eyelashes. Everyone enjoyed posing for me. Chet spontaneously leapt up to a little rock and posed. I love this picture, but I can tell he's really cold, sitting on that rock, and he wishes I'd get it over with so he can get moving again. I felt like a person who's been let out of a dark cell today. The light was so beautiful that we'd get a few yards down the trail and I'd have to take another picture.
There was one incident on the walk that stopped our hearts. Chet caught the scent of cattle, and rushed on ahead of us. When we got to the fenceline he was rounding up about a dozen Angus heifers. They tossed their heads and pounded around the pasture, kicking out. One little gal even came at Chet with her head down. I knew I'd only foul things up if I ran into the pasture, so I hollered desperately from the fenceline, begging Chet to come back. He disappeared over the crest of the hill but I could tell from the cattle's behavior that he was still cutting and chasing. When he came back, there was a muddy mark along his spine that might just have come from a heifer's hoof. He wasn't hurt, and I thanked St. Francis that the hoof hadn't connected with that dear round head. Durn dog.
Posted by Julie Zickefoose at 7:36 PM