Last week I picked up four beautifully made ceramic casserole dishes with matching lids. I had requested them to be made as gifts for some of my 20- to 30-year-old nieces and nephews that are buying houses, having babies and getting engaged and married. They are the perfect gift. Beautifully made, each set is unique, durable and a great size for two to four servings.

Walking through the woods yesterday evening I heard the spring peepers for the first time this year. There are clumps of something wild that look like snowdrops, the burgundy bulbs of skunk cabbage are presenting themselves and I saw recent beaver activity along the edge of the pond. I thought to myself, “I am so spoiled because I live in this beautiful place.”

Walking through Nonotuck Park the other morning during a snowy episode, it seemed like all of life had been suspended. The snow made many parts of the landscape negated and others enhanced. The contrast between dark and light was exaggerated. All sounds were muffled and it was very, very quiet. It was as if Mark, our dog Cricket and I were the last people on earth.