Variety is the Spice of Life

Some cliches are so true.  I suppose that is how they became clichés,  I sure would like to invent one myself.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have invented ‘variety is the spice of life’…and then every time somebody said it, I could be a quietly smug about it?   As I look at my breakfast,  I try a new cliche… ‘cranberry relish is the spice of my strawberry jello.’  Incidentally, it turned out to be very good jello, after I acquired a taste for it.  The gourmet cooks we spent Thanksgiving with this year–no kidding-were very gracious about my pickled jello, but you’d have to taste everything else to realize why so much of my dish was left over.
The other variety spice I’ve appreciated so much these past few days has been Round Lake.  Last spring the anticipation of ice –out was oh-so-exciting.   
But this year’s ice-in was the best yet. We’ve had free time and a free lake full of ice, balmy days, so perfect. 
The woods are absolutely gorgeous.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were full of skating.  Yesterday the kids and their friends spent 4 hours playing hockey……and just playing…….on a flawless lake.  Of course, especially before we take other people’s children on the ice, we check the thickness, and make sure that the natural holes that flooded it have iced over—with a couple inches on top of the original ice–which we did, and it was thick enough.

 And this morning,  we’ve already had about 3 inches of snow and it’s clinging to everything—wrecking the ice, but so spicy beautiful that it’s equally pleasing.
I loved skating as a kid-I remember afternoons  on Lake Nokomis, with my siblings and cousins.  My sister and our friends Karin and Mary would make up routines, graceful, full of our best twirling .  Since our kids have been old enough to walk, we’ve found them skates—it was so important to me to reinforce the skating brain connections. I used to skate backwards and they’d try to catch me and stay in the “sidewalk” path my skates created.  I was smooth and accomplished, a groovy Peggy Flemming-skater kind of mom.  This is the picture I’m trying to create, because here we are only 10 years later—the other night Andy and I were trying to catch hockey-Daniel as he skated backwards and we skated forwards.  He laughed as he agilely skated between us; we felt stiff as we reached our arms out to try to tag him..  Pretty sure we resembled Young Frankenstein dancing Puttin’ on the Ritz. 
What happened?  Which is real?  Am I graceful like Peggy Fleming or clumsy like Young Frankenstein?  
Which is better, Round Lake in the winter, or Round Lake in the spring?  Maybe true reality is exposed through the contrasts.  

Aha, “True reality is exposed through contrasts”.  Is that a new cliché?  Any chance it’ll catch on?  Maybe there’s about as much chance that gourmet pickled jello will catch on too—-.
At any rate, variety  is the spice of life.  Thanksgiving is about over, and it’s time to venture out into the snowy woods to get a Christmas tree.  Yay!

2 Responses

  1. So eloquent! I think my favorite part about living on the trail was the change and the contrast. This also goes for the burned forest and the older spruce and pine–what a feeling to paddle out to the Palisades after being surrounded by charred trunks and new jack pines! Comparing the changes, especially of the lake in different seasons and ice-in/ice-out of various years is something I won’t ever get tired of.
    Last Jan/Feb during a hot week our lake road to the islands melted and re-froze, making a 1/2 mile stretch of ice as perfect as we could get without the work of flooding. I raced the dog back and forth and ended up skating in my tank top!

  2. How are you Rose? I think about you guys. Did you celebrate Thanksgiving in India?