Weekend – The First Storm

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11-24-13 first stormWe’ve had a few light snowfalls so far this winter, but this past weekend brought our first true winter storm of the season. Sure, we didn’t get two or three feet of snow, but we did have 35 mile-an-hour winds gusting and enough snow to stay on the ground instead of just melting away later in the day. The storm lasted the entire Saturday, not just a few hours, and created white-out conditions and slick roads for travels. I don’t know about you, but that’s a storm in my book.

11-24-13 red plants

11-24-13 lavender

11-24-13 evergreensWe dog-sat for my parents this weekend, who are lucky to live on the shore of West Grand Traverse Bay. Sam and I woke up to find the snow blowing horizontally outside the window, completely blocking our view of Leelanau Peninsula across the way. It sounds crazy, but I love weather like this (only because I am fortunate to have a roof over my head). Looking outside at a blizzard makes me want to curl up inside with a book, a good movie, maybe a project I’m working on…but I had to walk the dog outside. It was as brutal and cold as I was expecting, but for some reason when I brought Lance back inside from his walk I grabbed my camera and headed back out.

11-24-13 storm V

11-24-13 storm season

11-24-13 west bay viewThe waves were swept into massive, long-rolling white caps and the wind made it impossible to look north. I found a few calm pockets of the land welcoming the first snow and all the beauty it brings, but for the most part it was a chaotic, howling storm that kept trying to knock me over and cover the hills directly west of us. I couldn’t help but smile to myself, because I love the reminders that nature gives us: she is a powerful thing, and greater than the sum of all humans. She is a force to admire in all her forms, even at her most brutal. I stood out there in my sweatpants and boots, bundled from head to toe, and took it all in. (I must say Sam was slightly crazier, running outside in sweatpants, sweatshirt, and slippers. But he took a cool photo of me, so that’s ok.)

11-24-13 slightly crazyThe snow started to cover everything, but the wind was so fierce it blew most of the snow away, leaving little remnants of what lay underneath the snow. I like how the ground started to look like a mosaic, complete in form but not realistic, as though it was all pieced together. There were white voids in the landscape, waiting to either be filled or consume the world with nothing but white. Things looked the same but different. The earth is transitioning up north, and I love the different forms it takes.

11-24-13 land lake diagram

My favorite thing about any weekend is making fresh, hot food. During the week we make meals to take with us to work every day, which we heat up or eat cold (depending on the meal, of course), and at dinner time we’re usually too hungry to make anything other than some eggs or a quick meal with whatever’s on hand. The weekend allows us to take our time, start cooking when we’re not quite hungry, and  when we’re done the food is hot and our tummies are ready. Gotta love that!

After the storm adventure, we settled in for some banana and walnut pancakes. I can’t remember the last time I had pancakes (oats and cereal are a staple on-the-go breakfast food in our house), and they were absolutely heavenly.

11-24-13 bananas

11-24-13 pancakes cooking 2

11-24-13 pancakes cookingBanana walnut pancakes are super simple and undeniably delicious. Basically, just make your favorite pancake mix (we used the Bisquick “Ultimate Pancake” recipe), pour some little batter puddles, add sliced bananas and walnuts to the top of each cake, flip when ready, and serve warm. What’s not to love?

11-24-13 yum yum pancakes 11-24-13 oh yeah pancakesAll in all, it was a great start to a lazy, snowed-in weekend. We both got a lot of work done for our own personal projects, but we also got to watch two movies (a true luxury for us!), eat wonderful food, and sleep in a king size bed. I’m putting this down as a successful two days, perfectly spent relaxing and catching up on stuff. It’s all about the balance, right? Right.

– m.s.

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