Where has winter gone?! It sure doesn't feel like Thanksgiving when 99.9 percent of the little snow we've gotten is gone, and it's 34 degrees out! I remember the years - not long ago - when a blizzard around Thanksgiving was a given. You EXPECTED it! And, even in recent years, it was always an anxious debate whether the ponds would be frozen enough to ice skate on Turkey Day. But, no more. All of us who live in this part of the world so that we CAN enjoy winter find ourselves joking (or are we being more serious than not?) about how much farther north we're going to have to move to get real winters again. Somewhere below tree-line and above these mild winters still exists snow and cold, skiing and sledding. (I hope.)
On the up side, the mild weather has been terrific for our building projects, and the masonry crew is now on the last stretch: the south side of the house facing the valley. It's the easiest and warmest area . . . which is why they saved it for last. There's no doubt that they'll be cleaning up and heading home next week. What a change that will be after having them here - nearly every day - since October 16th!
Speaking of the masonry crew, we wanted to thank them for some terrific above-and-beyond things they'd done for us so had arranged for them to take a flight with our friend who's a pilot. We'd been waiting for good weather for, literally, over two weeks. Then, on Tuesday, we found the day. They were here, I was here, the pilot was available, and the sun was shining (a rare occurrence this time of year). So, off we went.
I had planned on bringing them to the airport, taking pictures of them taking off, and then meeting them again when they landed to take more pictures and hear all about the flight. The plane our friend flies is a teeny one, and it's much more comfortable to have the back seat free for just one person, even tho two can fit. The husband of our husband-wife masonry crew had flown before - but never in such a wooded, unpopulated area. She had not flown before and was nervous. Tremendously excited, but nervous. So, despite my protests and due to her extensive pleading, I went along - she and I squeezing into the back seat.
I hadn't been up in the air for some time, so it was great to get out again . . . and see the house progress from above! We had a great flight, did a lot of moose-looking (no luck), and buzzed Tom in his office up near the Canadian border. Then, on the way back, we caught the sunset as we flew along the shore. They had a terrific time, and the woman's comment at the beginning of the flight said it all. When our pilot asked if she was doing okay (motion sickness, etc.) and to just tell him if she wasn't feeling well and that we would immediately turn around and land back at the airport, clutching her digital camera she exclaimed, "There's NO way I'm missing this whole flight!"