Paradise pleasures... We had a really nice day yesterday, and the reason is entirely due to people we've met since moving to Paradise. Early in the day Debbie and I drove up a back road near our house where several people have reported seeing elk down in the valley. We didn't see any, but we sure saw a lot of pretty “Hallmark card” winter scenery. We headed up into town to take care of some feral cats (we've been feeding and watering them in the bad weather). While we were at the cat's location, my phone rang: it was my friend and neighbor Tim D., whose tractor had broken right in the middle of his driveway plowing. He needed a tow and his driveway plowed. That was another opportunity for me to pay him back a little for all the help he gave me last year. Never have I enjoyed snow plowing so much :)
Debbie and I puttered around for the rest of the afternoon yesterday, not really doing much of anything. I finished up the last bits of my financial catch-up, Debbie did a little cooking and reading. A nice, slow, afternoon. We decided to watch the Alistair Sims version of “A Christmas Carol”, and headed upstairs with a glass of wine and a few snacks. Just as the introduction was playing, our doorbell rang – and the smiling faces of two of our neighbors (Linda D. and Tom S.) were there to greet us, with arms full of homemade goodies. We talked with them for an hour or so, about all sorts of local goings-on. It was most enjoyable.
As Lind and Tom said their goodbyes, another car pulled in behind them. We don't get a lot of visitors, so this was quite a noteworthy event all in itself. A young couple got out of the car, and it took me a moment to recognize them: Steve and Janae M., who were here for several afternoons back in July, taking down our old outbuilding so they could turn it into a boathouse. They were a delightful pair whose company we really enjoyed, but we hadn't seen them since then. We called them “the kids”, jokingly, the whole time they were working here. They live near by Scott's cabin, quite a distance from here. Last night they came by just to say hi, bringing with them a (delicious!) loaf of homemade banana bread, and some hunks of salmon they caught this fall in Alaska. We talked with them for a couple of hours, and when they left we had grins that we just couldn't wipe off our face. We love living here!
Steve told us about a pig farm that's not far from Scott, where one can buy freshly butchered pork of all kinds, including bacon and bacon ends. Janae is an accomplished painter (realistic animals and western scenes), and she gave me some good information that I've already passed on to Scott, about getting connected with the local arts culture. It seems there's quite a divide, locally, between the “modern” artists (not Janae's cup of tea) who are centered at the University, and the more traditional artists who are centered at a particular local gallery. Scott's already sent a message to that gallery. They are both familiar with Scott's cabin (it's a bit of a local landmark), and they're going to stop in to say “hi” one of these fine days. We've also got a standing invitation (including Scott) to visit them at their riverside home.
We've got quite the winter wonderland here at the moment. There is about 16" of snow on the ground now, and it's still falling intermittently. I'm going to take a chance and plow this morning, while everything is still frozen solid, in the hopes that we'll get some sunshine to melt it off the pavement. The temperature at the moment is 26°F, and the forecast has it falling some more – but the forecast's record the past few days hasn't been stellar :)