Thursday, January 08, 2009

Reflections on the Way to Dyer Pond

Crunching over the ice and snow along the path to Dyer Pond, Sven and I listened to the wind whistling through the pine trees and considered our footwear. Sven, a historian, told me that, in the olden days, Swedes stuffed over-sized leather shoes with dry hay. There was a hayrack, shaped like a barrel, in every kitchen. I thought he was referring to Viking times, but no. Hay-stuffed shoes were apparently all the rage in the 19th century, up north. They kept feet warm, and you didn’t sweat. The hay was, of course, disposable. The mattresses were also filled with hay. Useful information, perhaps, for these tough times ahead? We also discussed a startling piece in The New Yorker about victims of Madoff selling off heirloom jewels in Florida, which brought the conversation to the face of evil, a topic that Sven examined in his last blog. At Dyer Pond, ice was melting, but it should quickly refreeze with the cold spell predicted by the weatherman. Perhaps the ponds will be safe for skating after all this January?