Sunny, brilliant, crisp day, minus 20
When I let Maggie and Trudy out this morning I noticed two things simultaneously. The car was frozen and a huge, magnificent deer was in mid-air, leaping over the stone fence from our gardens to the driveway. In what looked like slow-motion it then leapt into the field then into the forest. It seemed to float. Maggie and Trudy noticed this at about the same instant and immediately took off after the poor thing, with me, slippered and sliding, in pajama's through the brittle snow, screaming after them. Ah, the peace and tranquility of the country.
Happily for all of us our Golden Retrievers are scaredy cats. Twenty feet into the forest and they were running back to Mommy who was looking like Dorothy Hamill gone bad. We all slinked back to the house, except the deer.
We love deer. Many gardeners don't, since deer eat many of the flowers and are considered pests by some. But we could watch them all day, and figure they were here first. If they want to eat the roses, that's OK. For the most part they stay in the field by the pond, but sometimes they come closer to the house. My brother Doug once rescued a baby deer who'd somehow fallen into our pool and couldn't seem to get out. Doug instinctively scooped it up and placed it kicking on the grass. They both stood stunned, then it took off. I wonder if this was the same deer. Looking for Doug. Close - it found dogs instead.
We have mice in the house, and deer in the field, carpenters in the bedroom, and black-capped chickadees, blue jays and woodpeckers at the feeders. The place is a riot.
Off to mail more Christmas cards. Each year I swear I'll stop, and each year I seem to send more.
Great news yesterday - the UK editor read the fourth book and called to say she thinks it's the best Gamache mystery so far! Can't tell you what a relief that is. My mind plays so many tricks on me as soon as the manuscript's out of my hands. I become convinced it's something the deer leaves behind. So that was thrilling news. Still waiting to hear from the NY editor, whose opinion is equally important - but I feel I can at least begin to exhale. No title decided on for the fourth book, but I'll let you know as soon as we have one. It's set, of course, in the summer. Fun reading it at minus 20.
Off to the village (real, not fictional). Speak to you later. Stay warm.