a day of sun

Chicago this January has been almost irredeemably gray. Gray, gray, gray. Buildings, streets, trees, all in various shades of gray. So it was delightful last week when we had a day of sunshine in the midst of it all — I found myself walking and walking around the neighborhood, just soaking in the sweetness of the sunlight and the beautiful shadows it created everywhere.

A little photo essay:

Can you see what this last picture is? A very tiny, tiny oak tree, hiding at the base of a shrub on my walk to the girls’ school. I think I’m going to have to rescue this sapling, because I’m sure the University’s groundskeepers are going to see it as a weed, not an oak, since they haven’t designated this spot as the right place for an oak. Would you like to move to Wooded Isle, little oak tree?

postcards from the farm

So we got back from the farm many many days ago — before Christmas! — but the sights and sounds of that beautiful place are something I think about every day. Here are some pictures of our time there. A quiet little post for a sunny/snowy day here in Chicago:

Such a wonderful long weekend of sunrise walks and sledding, solstice campfires and late night story-telling sessions and family and food and fun. And even a bit of polka-dancing in town! Lovely beginning of winter!

Snow day

Last Thursday afternoon we cut a flurry of paper snowflakes….

And by Saturday morning we had the real thing in abundance. Oh the joy of the first real snow of the year!

I took these pictures on my way to meet my husband and the kids after ballet practice. But then I realized that my camera battery was low — too low for pictures of the kids in the snow. I’ve got to remember to check that battery!

But I’m sure you can imagine them romping like puppies in the snow, making snow people big and little and every size in between. And now imagine Lizzy lying on her tummy in the snow, slowly lowering her face into it. “Ooooooh! It’s cold, Mommy! I put my face right into the snow!”

That was our day Saturday — snow day, hurray!

apples, apples

It’s a family tradition to head for the apple orchards this time of year, but with all the warm weather, turned out we made it just in the nick of time — the last weekend apples were available! We did our best to pick the very last ones, this time heading out with some friends who pick in bulk for making applesauce and apple butter, so as a group we picked — wait for it — 200 lbs. of apples! Whooo-hooo! And with all of us working together, not to mention some very enthusiastic little ones willing to shimmy up trees, it didn’t take long at all.

One of us even got his very first taste of apple. Oh, yes. How I do love Fall!

spring is here…

{in the branches}

{in the sky}

{in my hands}

{in their imaginations — a ¬†homemade “rainbow” — you don’t need rain!}

{on the knees}

{in their play — they are rolling downhill, three holding on together! tumbling, tumbling…}

I don’t think I’ve ever been more ready for spring, so when the weather got warm yesterday, we were like happy little birds, chirping, “Spring is here!” Hope you’re seeing signs of Spring wherever you are!

the first sunbeam of Spring‚Ķ

Our old apartment used to have glorious light all year round, and pretty lovely views of the lake, too. In our new place, as cozy as it is, there are months of the year when we don’t get any direct sunlight at all. Oh, sigh. I used to live for those winter sunbeams streaking across the floor.

But the deprivation does make the return of the light so welcome, so treasured! So we’ve been celebrating the Return of the Sunbeam this week.

And there’ve been some other signs of spring too, like slushy outings to the Point, and of course fat robin redbreasts, singing their songs.