“I like snow,” Milo said, “but I like summer better.” Right you are, buddy.
We thought NY would feel shockingly cold, being that we haven’t felt cold like that (10 degrees F this hiking day = -12 C) for three years. It was cold, that was true, but not surprisingly so. I guess it’s another example of the Power of Expectations. We expected it to be cold, and the weather fulfilled those expectations. Here we are hiking Noonmark in Keene Valley, Adirondacks.
Of course, when the Shaw’s house is this warm, unless you’re hiking, the cold outside is mostly just pretty scenery. Milo decided clothes were an unnecessary luxury this afternoon. And to tell truth, we decided that winter hiking wasn’t for kids, and we left them with Nana in the balmy house for the day.
Here was our hiking crew for the day. Eric (left) is now Missy’s (center) husband. Rachel, a bridesmaid from England, completed the group.
When I wasn’t behind the camera I was hugging birch trees. In the summer I hardly notice them, but in the winter they’re glorious, their white bark glowing with almost a pink color against the brilliant snow. This is my favorite part of the Adirondack mountains in winter–that subalpine birch zone just below the altitude where the spruces take over.
Fresh snow on the spruces! Snowshoe hare tracks crisscross under their bows, but I’ve never caught a glimpse of the creatures themselves. This sunny day the intrepid birds were out chirping, but I went out on a snowshoe a couple days later while it was snowing and it was so silent that the crisp sprinkle of the flakes could be heard against the dried beech leaves.
We had a clear view from the top, before the next bit of weather rolled in from this side.
Winter is fun an all, but that’s not the reason we made the journey to the other side of the planet. This trip was for family. For Missy’s wedding, first of all, and to renew friendships as well. Papa (Jeremiah’s dad) was really looking forward to taking Milo for a ride in his new toy. Vintage 1965, he saw one in the Christchurch museum Antarctica display when they visited us. Papa has a weakness for big machines, history, and good deals….I’m guessing that buying this Tucker SnoCat fulfilled all three passions. I’m not sure something can be a good deal if you don’t need it….but he certainly likes it, as well as the attention it garners from passing motorists.
Another big machine, this one he does need for the business. Milo’s an appreciative audience.
Nana likes her breakfast smoothies. She chocks them full of healthy stuff, some yummy and some completely inedible. The resulting brew is, to my taste, barely edible…it must be an acquired taste. She made fruit ones for Milo and the rest of the gang, which were delicious.
Wedding day! We dolled ourselves up and then stuck a tacky passifier in Naomi’s mouth. She was crabby and tired, so it was our ploy to buy silence. It didn’t work. Omi and Abi helped out by playing with her upstairs.
There now, she’s got what she needed on Abi’s shoulder.
When Abi relates to the kids, he gets right down at their level. Naomi had a bit of a window-crank fetish, and unfortunately not all of them were stuck on securely. I rescued one from the garbage where she had binned it, and Abi helped her put this one on and off again numerous times, all while showing due admiration for the lego man Milo had thrust under his nose.
Moriah is Jeremiah’s younger sister. Naomi shares a family resemblance, does she not?
“I have 13 cousins!” Milo tells everyone with an ear to spare. Ben, Jeremiah’s older brother, has 13 children. Nathaniel and Elizabeth, some of the youngest, are the same age as Milo and Naomi.
Milo cited sledding with the cousins as the highlight of his America trip.
And here we are, headed back to New Zealand. Unfortunately these good-natured grins were temporary. 30+ hours is a long time to be traveling, even when 15 of them were on a new Dreamliner plane with individual entertainment stations. The beautiful thing was that time doesn’t stand still, as much as it may seem to, and eventually all things come to an end. It was with much relief that we finally disembarked from the last plane in Christchurch. It feels great to be back.