Sunday Gratitude – Snow Globe

This morning the loveliest of fluffy snowflakes are swirling down, frosting the white pines and birches. It is my favorite kind of snow, the kind movies and memories are made from. Today it is also snowing inside, as I give my new snow globe a shake, smiling as the flakes cover and uncover the yellow lab and red cardinal.

My snow globe is a mystery gift, arriving Friday by personal messenger (Dianne O’Conner of Weston Table) who only told the door-opening Owlet that it was “from a friend.” Clearly, it is from someone who knows me pretty well–a labrador, a bird, and trees in the snow…it is me. I haven’t yet decided if I will try to figure out the mystery giver or if I will simply appreciate the memories that are an added bonus.

I no longer have a yellow lab–I have Katie Puppy, a lab mix rescue dog who is brown (and now white with age). My only yellow lab was my very first dog (we had a brown lab family dog when I was a teen) who we got when Mr. Owl and I lived in Brazil the first time in 1998. Chopp was his name–named for the color of draft beer, which turned out to be appropriate in his mellow happiness with life. He was the most beautiful dog I’ve ever owned, 80 pounds of gorgeous, who traveled with us to Miami when we moved there in 2001, and back to Brazil in 2008 (that time he got caught in a customs strike for 12 hours, released only after intercession by a General–a fun story for another day).

Chopp put up with a younger brother Caju who was a nut, and with the arrival of the Owlets in 2006. He was first and foremost a companion dog, asking for nothing more than a pet, a walk, and dinner. He loved weekends at the Brazilian ranch where we rented a house–trotting through the woods or sitting in the sun. Chopp died young from laryngeal paralysis–we let him go before things got really bad. Chopp would have loved snow — he never met it though in his years in Brazil and Florida.

And of all the happy coincidences, as I signed into social media this morning, a memory came up served by Mr. Zuckerberg. A red cardinal in the Japanese maple outside my office window five years ago–he had come to tell me the bird feeder was empty. That year a cardinal couple had built a nest in a holly bush near the kitchen–I nicknamed them Birch and Holly. There is nothing more beautiful than a cardinal in the snow. It is one of the sights I most love in my return to winter after 15 years in the tropics.

Birch the red cardinal outside my office window

My Sunday gratitude is for a snow globe that has triggered memories unexpected–not all triggers are negative, am I right? Before I head out with Katie Puppy into the swirling flakes, I will give it another shake, and a smile.

Thank you, mystery giver.

Weston Table is at 466 Boston Post Road, and is one of the best places I know for special gifts. Shop Local! Or perhaps Chopp local!

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