January Thaw

Abby and I went to her hometown, Ryan, Oklahoma, for pre-Christmas a couple of days ago. We stayed with her father Hershel’s widow, Ethel. The event was a little like an episode of Mayberry R.F.D., with various folks dropping by unannounced all day, never knocking, with a gift or something to eat, and always sitting down to tell stories.

Abby talked about fishing with her dad. She caught grasshoppers for bait. She and the family remembered that Hershel always got the kids situated to fish, then walked to other side of the pond to fish by himself.

Later in the afternoon, Abby’s sister Gail walked in with a paper plate in her hand. As soon as they made eye contact, Abby’s eyes lit up and she exclaimed, “You made January Thaw!” which is a kind of rich praline candy their mother made for them “when the weather was just right.”

At dawn the next morning I got up and dressed to walk the dogs. When I got outside I discovered an amazing low fog, so I grabbed a camera.

On our way home yesterday afternoon, we stopped by Abby’s aunt Judy’s farm (where they have the family reunion every year), because Judy wanted us to pick up a gift she made for Abby, a quilt made from Hershel’s jeans. The quilt even included patches where Hershel had stitched up holes in his jeans himself.

A thin layer of fog settles on pastures around Ryan, Oklahoma yesterday.
A thin layer of fog settles on pastures around Ryan, Oklahoma yesterday.

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