Here in the twinkling darkness of 4:30 pm on a quiet Sunday afternoon, we have just lit the Hannukah menorah with the first candle. Our day consisted of lots of indoor time, followed by a few walks, and a visit with a dear neighbor who stopped by. I had to give Django no less than 3 warm baths so far to remove his ice-ball coating, each time he joyfully rushed out into the snow to play! Daniella made a snow-woman (her first, as an LA girl), and we fed the birds. So goes life in the slow lane on Whidbey Island. Tonight we'll share a meal with the boys up the hill, and probably spend a quiet evening together. As we contemplate the turning of the solstice, it is heartening to remember that, after today, the daylight begins to lengthen again. We will be on the way back to the light soon. The ice and snow, on the other hand, show no signs of retreat. We are thankful for the mercies of electricity, warmth, and good company.