I hurried as I crunched my way out to feed the chickens yesterday morning. The wind (which could have been termed ‘gentle’ had it been thirty degrees warmer) cut right through my down vest. But the girls’ water had only a skim of ice on it – not too thick for them to handle and they got right to it ‘as usual’ in their feathery home-grown down dresses. As for me, it seemed a good day to stay indoors.
And that’s what I did. What a wimp! Though it remained oh-so-cold, it soon turned sunny and bright, but it was too late for this hothouse flower. I was into a new ghost story quest with an eye to expanding a series I did for the Observer a few years back. Though it’s now in Kindle form, I think it could go beyond virtual and into a full-blown page-turning edition.
There’s nothing like pursuing a righteous ghost to warm you right up. This one was a lighthouse keeper’s wife. She’s been the subject of other stories by authors with more knowledge than I, but I’m hoping to give my treatment a different twist. Isn’t that what every writer says? So my day flew by without regard for the nip in the air, except when I ventured out of my warm office. In winter that means a scurry through the east-end rooms heading for the kitchen and another cup of coffee. How can there be such a difference in temperature between one part of this old house and the other?
Midway through the afternoon I had a coffee date with my friend Miki so I bundled up and sallied forth. Thank goodness for those heated seats in the Prius! I chose a table by a sunny window but, even though that golden orb was right at eye level and I had to squint, there was no warmth in it. Mostly my afternoon glow came from all the laughing Miki and I always seem to fall into. My cockles were definitely warmed by the visit.
We had been invited to Maggie’s for soup and bread in the evening. Though I wore my warmest jacket, I resisted the urge to don mittens and knitted hat. Cold and clear but not even below freezing yet! It was wonderfully still out – not a zephyr,
The soup was African Peanut – hot and spicy and, of course directly from Maggie’s new book, Soup Night. The book went into its second printing only a day or two after it first appeared in stores across the country. Maggie told us about her non-stop “events” – soups and signings in all sorts of venues from book stores to kitchen boutiques and even a CostCo. Plus she’s been doing mega radio and television interviews and being sent hither and thither by her publisher.
I felt all the warmth and excitement of a groupie as I asked her questions and delighted in her success. Maggie has been a working writer for her entire career and, despite the handful of best-selling authors who make it big early on, most people who have chosen to support themselves through writing do so because they enjoy the process. Fame and fortune just ain’t in it! Damn and amen to that!
We left Maggie’s warmed to the core by her soup and stories but remembered to choose our steps carefully as we crossed her rapidly frosting deck. Bring it on, Old Man Winter! I’m ready for you