Posts Tagged ‘this old house’

coyotes in snow

We sat differently at breakfast this morning in this new old house, this Connecticut experiment, this place in the woods.

Our muscles still ached just a bit from yesterday’s load of furniture moved in and pushed around, aided by generous friends as the snow came down in earnest. Now to reap the fruit of our labors.

We perched on a new bench stationed on the side of the table that allows us to peer out over our backyard and into the woods from the rectangle off the kitchen that has now become The Breakfast Room.

The trees are winter-resplendent in their uncomplaining bearing up of two inches of snow, a mere sprinkling for New Englanders but remarkable enough to draw grateful eyes to the beauty of it all. You can see through the woods this time of year, an unveiling of fauna that must have our animals on their toes, or should. I remarked that if any animals moved about in those woods this morning, we’d spot them easily against the white upturning on the other valleyside of our fair-weather stream.

No cameras were at hand, but if this ain’t the spittin’ image.

It was an observation, not an expectation.

Yet not a minute later something moved. I grabbed the nearby binoculars and spotted a nice-sized coyote making his way slowly, right to left across the woods just beyond our rock wall, unaware of our admiration. No, two! No, three coyotes shuffling along from somewhere to somewhere, wild and beautiful!

They looked like German Shepherds, and were about that size. If one didn’t know better, you might even hear ‘Wolves!’ ring out in our amazement. But we do know better.

These were the coyotes who made short work of poor Morris the Deer, cleaning up his body to leave a med-school laboratory’s worth of pristine skeleton, then days later leaving no trace even of bone, just scattered fur here and there as mute testimony to Morris’ majestic life and inglorious death.

It’s amazing to me that from the inside warmth of this house, we become spectators of a wildness that moves the soul on a winter’s morning, hinting at other and deeper wildnesses that haunt this neighborhood, this state, this planet.

Who would have thought it when we said our tearful goodbyes to that other old house out in Indiana and came to this old house in New England’s generous woods?

Coyotes in the snow.


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A white, slightly dented white car in the driveway means Philip is under roof. A respectable Dodge with just a hint of the rakish to its lines angled into the asphalted slot where a big old tree once stood means Lucas is home. While my pickup languishes in the airport Economy Lot (long story, one for another day), the presence of either of these Sanders-family chariots mean that Son Christopher is also within the walls of this old house.

All of this good.

As I return from my bike ride on a hot Sunday afternoon, I see that the LAN party has ended. The cars of the LAN partiers have returned to their erstwhile nest.

In the circles that frequent this old house, the ‘LAN party’ is a product of Costa Rica days. A pack of digital-native sons developed the multi-day/night computer-game frenzy that goes under this moniker. They shut themselves in the chosen home, connect into a Local Area Network (thus ‘LAN’), take vows of chastity against the allure of sleep and her un-mannish siren song, and stock up on Mountain Dew. Then the games begin! (more…)

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They built this house, on what must have been Indianapolis’ far north side, in 1930. Peace in Europe was, fleetingly, twelve years old. Men who had clung to the trenches’ muddy, bloody edge were deciding whether to talk about that to their ten-year-old boys.

An economic shattering so profound that it can still be called the Great Depression was using up its second page on a nation’s hungry calendar. Improbably, the land just across 64th Street had been donated by John and Evaline Holliday fourteen years earlier to the State of Indiana on its one hundredth birthday. I reckon the proximity of Holliday Park contributes a third to the value of my home. (more…)

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