The Cove Journal
by JoDee Samuelson
Well, hello winter! One day we were blithely raking leaves in t-shirts and shorts, and the next day we were bundling up against a fierce north wind and brushing snow from our doorsteps. It would be nice to blame Daylight Savings Time for all this, but of course that can’t be true. Fortunately our stunningly beautiful fall weather gave everyone, from farmers and gardeners to road crews and roofers, plenty of time to “finish the job properly.” And I must say the Island looks very smart and trim as we head into December.
I can finally tolerate hearing Christmas music in stores. In fact, I find myself humming along with everything. Christmas is the one time of year when we all know the first verse of dozens of songs, and even adults who protest “But I can’t sing” can sometimes be persuaded to open their mouths and make a joyful noise.
The Cove is bursting with seasonal activities including, for one last time, a drive-through Living Nativity at the Jenkins’ farm. Chrys, Gordon and Jamie are hanging lights and stars, building a shelter for the choir, lining up guest livestock, and generally preparing a one-of-a-kind nativity show. Who would put all that effort into such a big funky unlikely light-up-the-sky event? Well, Chrys and Doreen and all their friends in the Cove, that’s who. It’s the most cheerful way ever invented to raise money for Santa’s Angels.
When the Living Nativity is over there’ll be the Christmas Concert at the old school featuring local talent young and old, a homemade play, a visit from Santa, and lunch of course. (Can you have an event in the country without lunch?) Tucked in here and there are a half-dozen Open Houses when neighbors gather at various homes to discuss the events of the day and have a bite to eat. Do we get tired of seeing each other so often? Not at all. We’re filling up with warmth and happiness to tide us through the long cold months ahead.
While we humans snack on fruitcake and chocolate, our local wildlife is also enjoying the bounty of the season. Two flying squirrels have taken up residence in our woodpile, conveniently close to everything they like to eat: butternuts, chestnuts, spruce cones, lichen. Northern flying squirrels are as cute as rodents can get, with their shiny round eyes (for nocturnal vision), fluffy flat tails and little round ears. We’re going to let them live out the winter just where they are. It’s amazing to see them soaring from tree to tree, flat as frisbees: they can glide up to 300 feet!
Along the capes, bayberry shrubs proudly display their waxy grey-blue fruits. Scarlet winterberries glow in the afternoon sun. Down at the shore, periwinkles snuggle into sandstone cracks, prepared to sit out the vagaries of winter weather. The final season of the year is here and we’re ready.
Little Drummer Boy, Il est né le divin enfant, O tannenbaum: Welcome December!