Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured a story about the American Week of Lazy between Christmas and New Years. Apparently across the country, millions spend the week primarily on their devices, eating carryout, and sleeping. Here in Columbia County, the week of lazy is pretty evident too, but it certainly is different than the Journal’s image.
On Broad Reach Farm, I know we are well into the week of lazy when I can start the fires in the morning simply by brushing away a top layer of ash and heaping some paper and kindling on the still red hot coals from the night before. The stones are still hot under my hands, radiating into the cold room. The fires are roaring within minutes, and everyone feeds them all day long, because everyone is home to do it. I know fires are raging in other houses because when we go out for long walks down the country lanes, the air is tangy with woodsmoke and in the low lying areas you can occasionally see a small cloud of smoke hovering amongst the trees like a scene from A Christmas Carol.
The Journal reports that exercise enthusiasts use the week of lazy to exercise more than ever, and perhaps I do see more bicyclists clad in neoprene whizzing along the roads, but mostly I see everyone walking. I try to walk every morning, but its usually jammed into the fifteen minutes between barn chores and real estate appointments or driving the children, and sometimes that fifteen minutes vanishes altogether. I rarely see anyone else on my walk. This week though, all my neighbors are out on the roads, and with them are children, dogs and houseguests, and everyone has the luxury of time to stop and chat about their holiday.
Often those chats lead to a cup of coffee in front of the fireplaces, and those impromptu visits simply augment the social scene of the week of lazy in Columbia County. Where the rest of the world is ordering carryout, here the fabulous kitchens all seem to be in full swing, and there are too many luncheons, open houses, sledding parties, and full scale dinners being hosted to attend all the invitations. If we weren’t all walking so much, we’d be too supersized to get back in our cars at the end of the week.
I’m sorry to see the week coming to an end. Yesterday I took my oldest son back to the airport for his return to LA, and I was sorry to see him fold up the Irish knit sweater he had worn all week and put it back on the shelf in the closet. It will be waiting for his next visit and it will still smell like wood smoke. I hope the week of lazy never changes here.