The Suitcase Lady


February 19, 2013, 9:48 pm

The sun was stingy this month; the snow was not. February in the North country is not for the faint-hearted.

Everything that can fall out of the skies has…rain, freezing rain, snow and fog. When the sky wasn’t falling, the temperatures were plunging.

Our down-slanting driveway has turned into a gigantic ice skating rink. We now take the car to our mailbox at the top of the drive.

On the other side of the house, huge ice shelves have built up along the lake shore. On warm days (warm defined as 35 degrees) big chunks of ice break off and float like islands. It resembles a scene from the Arctic minus a polar bear on one of the ice floes.

This challenging weather has given everyone on the Tooley estate ravenous appetites. We are feeding hundreds of hungry mouths each day in the outdoor cafe. Fifty birds feeding simultaneously is a common sight now. Our most comical daytime visitors are thirteen turkeys who strut in from the woods. One prefers to dine on top of the corn table. Groups of deer slip silently under the feeders at night to second harvest all the fallen seeds and corn.

Inside the house, we are indulging in comfort foods. I am drawn like a magnet to the kitchen where I am cooking up large quantities of hearty soups, au gratin potatoes, pasta dishes, cornbread and cookies.

The cats have turned into chow hounds as well. They sit and wait beside their food dishes for kibble to arrive. The smarter felines open the lower cupboard doors where they know their food is stored. We’ve cat proofed the lids of the bins.

This week the first sign of spring appeared….at our grocery store. The new crop of Florida strawberries has come in, a true cause for celebration. These luscious berries signal that spring has arrived somewhere in the United States, if not in our backyard. I bought three quarts.

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