Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Every day the river is freezing over more and more.  The weather and the locals are telling us to prepare for dropping temperatures and snow through the weekend.

Yesterday a few of us walked the main drag of Johnson and were tourists.  It snowed during the entire walk and I was grateful for all the snow gear my friends let me borrow for the trip.  There are a few bars and restaurants, a gas station and a grocery store.  We visited Johnson Woolen Mills, which has been around since 1842.  Inside is a plethora of legit hunters gear made from wool shorn off local sheep--red and black flannel jackets, shirts, and vests, camo, traffic-cone orange beanies and hats the hunters wear in the forest to avoid getting their heads blown off, the most beautiful handmade wool blankets.

Then we went to the Maple Sugaring Equipment and Supply store that not only sells all grades of locally farmed maple syrup in all its forms (dehydrated maple sugar, maple syrup lollipops, spreads and jellies), but all the equipment and tools necessary to farm such maple.  Only those who are official members of the maple sugar farming association are allowed to purchase the farming equipment.  What a trip.

Of course we went into Ebenezer's Book Store and a few familiar names jumped off the shelves.  The local arts supply store is owned by a woman who works for VSC and has lived in Johnson for over thirty years.  I learned this when I inadvertently sat and had dinner with her my first night here.

Finally, we headed to the Barbara White Studio's where my Latina painter friend from Los Angeles has her studio.  She's waiting for her canvases to be delivered today, but was kind enough to show us around.  We met another woman there who had her studio door open and welcomed us in to snoop around.  I love the lived in look of her studio and desk.

I felt a bit guilty for taking time out of my day to walk around and see the few sights of Johnson, got right back to writing after our walk until it was time for dinner.  I worked until 11p before taking myself back to Kowalsky House for the night.  Last night I finally Facetime'd with wifey.  I miss her and Girly Grace.  She asked how I was feeling and I said good, motivated, but starting to worry a bit about my endurance.  Can I keep this pace up for the entire two weeks?  This feels like the longest study session of my life.  I remind myself this is a marathon, not a sprint and breathe. 

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