Friday, September 19, 2014


I got up at six a.m. and made Dan lunch to take to work with him, but don't be impressed: I don't usually do that, I have to confess.  In our house of insomniacs, the rule is to let sleeping dogs lie, and more often than not, I'm a sleeping dog when Dan leaves for work.  God bless him and his understanding heart.  But, I digress.  

I got up to make Dan a tuna sandwich, then saw him off with a hug and kiss and an Airborne (because he has a cold).  By 6:45 I heard Miss June rustling about in her room but nobody else was stirring, so I made a pot of coffee (with an extra shot of espresso), gathered my pile of stuff and headed outside to watch the sunrise.  

It's a whole different thing watching the sun come up here at our Nebraska home.  In  Colorado and Nevada, the sky is a wide open plate glass window on the physical world. The lay of the land throws sunrises and sunsets right in your lap, no obstacles, no subterfuge. If you miss the show, it's because you're not looking.  But here in our country home in the trees, catching the sunrise is a trickier business.

  It sneaks up on you.

Because Nebraska really is a prairie state, similar to eastern Colorado, we still can get the wide open expanses that we're used to, but our new midwestern home is also called the Arbor Day state; a vast array of trees grow here!  The abundance of water near the Platte and Missouri rivers in eastern Nebraska follows the meanderings of the rolling landscape in a network of creeks and streams and watersheds, all lined with thick lush stands of tree: elms, maples, cottonwoods, hemlocks, oaks... and some we haven't identified yet.  (There is a tree unit study in our future!)

Our house is situated in the crook of a little creek at the bottom of a rumpled blanket of hills, all covered right now in soy beans.  Since this is a low place, the woods aren't a planted windbreak, but a naturally-formed ell of thick trees. Amazing, tall, healthy trees and shrubs and vines and a wonderful source of water in natural artesian wells underneath. Not surprisingly, some early Nebraska settler recognized the advantages of this spot and stopped on the westward trail to settle here, building the core of this house in the 1870s.

I can imagine the farmer's wife stopping on her way to the well to watch the fingers of light find their way under the canopy of trees just as I'm doing this morning.

It's very subtle, the way the sun slips in under the trees, slowly slowly drawing back the curtains to let the light in.  Lovely really.  But, if you're anxious to meet the morning head on, you only need to walk up the driveway,,,

(This is actually looking back down the driveway here...)
And here is the dawn!

Soak in some sun for a minute (it's delicious and smells like dew and dandelions and wild plums), then turn back down the driveway to home, and -- will you look at that! -- the morning has beat you back and warmed up your seat for you.

Time to go in for another cup of coffee. Maybe the children are up.  If they aren't, I just may let them sleep a while longer... and you and I can catch up -- with each other, with the world, with the birds and the crickets...  Maybe I'll have a chance to read a couple chapters of the novel I started before the move and get in some quiet time before the day really starts rolling. Days here are always novel and exciting. Wonder what this one holds in store?

Happy Feast of the amazing St. Januarius!

 Please intercede for us, St. Januarius; help us to see the miraculous in the every day!

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