January 5th 2016

At the new house I’m working in are two children. One of them is an eight year old girl I’m guessing. By the time I’m done they’ll have their own bedrooms, able to use rooms too long under construction. She wrote me a little note with that earnest and beautifully awkward penmanship of an eight year and taped a candy cane to it. She was thanking me for fixing the house because no other carpenter cared enough for the house. Nothing compares. There are some little gifts worth more than all the gold in Egypt.



····the river’s icy steam in the hard


In Robert Frost’s poem The Mountain, he describes a brook:

There’s a brook
That starts up on it somewhere—I’ve heard say
Right on the top, tip-top—a curious thing.
But what would interest you about the brook,
It’s always cold in summer, warm in winter.
One of the great sights going is to see
It steam in winter like an ox’s breath,
Until the bushes all along its banks
Are inch-deep with the frosty spines and bristles—
You know the kind.


I was reminded of it driving along the White River this morning. Ice closed in toward its middle and icy chunks flowed down. An icy steam unfurled in the white, morning air. You could almost imagine the water was warm.


60: January 5th 2016 | bottlecap

3 responses

  1. On gold vs. grateful notes: spot price would likely affect how much of a pre-ghost Ebenezer I am.

    “Icy steam” makes me think of floating crystals, like almost a pall of powder.


    • There’s a stretch of Rte 2 between Vermont and Mexico, Maine that’s incredibly beautiful that way — big, mature oaks overlooking the median between 2 and the river (can’t remember it’s name). I think there’s a bicycle path and pedestrian way between the road and river. You’d think you were in Europe the way it’s curated and looked after. And then there’s a south-facing vista (Rte 2) somewhere between Jefferson and Lancaster, I think, that just about makes me weep. You look straight South, Whites on the left, for what must be a good 60 miles, a valley carved by glaciers not that long ago.


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