Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21st

I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't think of today's date without remembering the newspaper clipping about the fire that was supposed to take place on January 21, 1776.
January 21 was the coldest day of the year. Snow had fallen a few days before, but now the air was like cut crystal, the dawn sky so pale it looked white, and the packed snow chirped like crickets under our boots. Snow, snow-shrouded trees, the icicles that hung from the eaves of the house--the whole world seemed blue with cold. All of the stock had been put up the night before in stable or barn, with the exception of the white sow, who appeared to be hibernating under the house.

I peered dubiously at the small, melted hole in the crust of snow that marked the sow’s entrance; long, stertorous snores were audible inside, and a faint warmth emanated from the hole.

“Come along, mo nighean. Yon creature wouldna notice if the house fell down atop her.” Jamie had come down from feeding the animals in the stable, and was hovering impatiently behind me, chafing his hands in the big blue mittens Bree had knitted for him.

“What, not even if it was on fire?” I said, thinking of Lamb’s “Essay on Roast Pork.” But I turned obligingly to follow him down the trampled path past the side of the house, then slowly, slipping on the icy patches, across the wide clearing toward Bree and Roger’s cabin.

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 111, "January Twenty-First". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)


This picture shows a cabin built around 1820 near Grandfather Mountain, NC (very close to where Fraser's Ridge is supposed to be located). I think this might look something like Bree and Roger's cabin, perhaps?

1 comment:

Christiane KYPRAIOS said...

Good morning Karen! It's always a pleasure to read yr posts! Thanks for reminding us of that day!! Re-reading that chapter in ABOSAA (by the way,my copy of AB fell apart..)I find it really interesting because here, in the Paris area, it has been snowing for 3 days and "the packed snow chirped like crickets under our boots".Our garden is all white!Beautiful pic of the cabin too. I can imagine it's R&B's cabin actually. Best greetings.