Letter From New York Saturday, November 29, 2014

It is mid-afternoon yet the light is already fading here in Claverack; a pearl grey sky dominates the horizon. With the surfeit of snow, the view looks almost like a black and white photo. Branches, weighted down with snow, curl toward the earth all around me.

It is the Saturday following Thanksgiving, that long and lovely weekend of feasting and shopping. At least I heard no reports this year of crowds trampling each other into the linoleum. It has been mostly peaceful on the shopping front I think. There is nothing that says “Happy Holidays” more than a riot at Walmart. They opened Thanksgiving afternoon in an effort to let some steam out of the system so as to avoid the unpleasantness of previous years.

Today I passed their parking lot and it wasn’t full. I’m hoping that it was impossible to find a parking spot on Warren Street down in Hudson. It’s Small Business Saturday and Warren Street is crammed with small businesses. I will go there during the week this week to do some shopping.

I’m afraid I have no great need to plunge into the ritual of Black Friday or the counter movement of Small Business Saturday. I avoid all of those things. However, I am not immune to Cyber Monday. Amazon started its Cyber Monday Sale yesterday, or the day before or perhaps it has always been going on…

I confess that today I ventured online and ordered something for young Alicia, the three-year-old daughter of young Nick who works with me keeping the cottage running smoothly. She is enamored [as are so many] with FROZEN so I got her one of the hundreds of FROZEN items for sale on Amazon. So convenient. For a small fee, it will arrive wrapped. Because I am an Amazon Prime member it will come in two days, ready for the Christmas tree, which glows in the other room.

This is, perhaps my favorite weekend of the year, partly because I don’t push myself into the shopping frenzy at Walmart or Warren Street or the Cross Gate Mall up in Albany. I cozy up in the cottage and recover from my tryptophan hangover and concentrate on decorating for Christmas.

It is four o’clock as I write this and a family of deer has just crossed my yard; they seem to do so about this time every day. It causes me, in these quiet moments, to feel centered, in some kind of harmony with the larger world, aware that nature still runs wild in places and one of those places is my cottage by Claverack Creek.

From my desk, I look out the window to nothing but snow covered trees as far as I can see. My road is quiet and it seems a gentle world, far from the strum und drang of the city.

Twilight arrives. I got to prepare dinner for friends. I rejoice in the peace.

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