Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Odds and Ends to End January

This January has been an odd month.

The best thing so far this winter? The new bird feeder, outside my kitchen window. Yes, the birds go through the birdseed at an astonishing rate, but it's worth it. Mostly goldfinches, a few juncos, a few sparrows, and twice a cardinal. It provides them with food, and it helps preserve my sanity in this often cabin-feverish remote rural setting.

The worst thing so far this winter? The accident, totalled my old Jeep, and I'm surprised I walked away from the crash in one piece. On an otherwise clear road, a sudden patch of black ice, or frost coming out of the ground, or whatever... my Jeep ended up smashed to smithereens, lying on its side far out into a field. I crawled out through the front window and walked away unscathed-- quite surprisingly, after going off the road, down a 20 foot embankment, through a barbed wire fence, and rolling more than once as I slid and pitched and careened across the field. Thank God for seatbelts, or I wouldn't be here.

The most unexpected thing so far this winter? The new Jeep. Well, "new" Jeep. 2004 Grand Cherokee, found at a car dealership in town. I was planning on a newer vehicle in the spring anyhow, so I only had to move my plans up by a few months. Though I'm still adjusting to all the technological novelties of a 2004 model. The old Jeep was a '92; yes, that's right, no airbags. Hope I'll never have to test out the airbags on the new Jeep.

Other bits and pieces to January, too. But, you know, this has been an odd month. One thing I discover in this remote rural corner of the country is how readily and quickly friends and neighbors come to your aid when you're in a tough spot. From the friend who spotted the new Jeep for me, to the neighbor who loaned me a car for two weeks, to all the folks who expressed their concern-- and, yes, news does travel. I keep running into people who heard.

Meanwhile, I find quiet satisfaction in watching the birds at the bird feeder outside my kitchen window.

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