As I write this, Rafael is cuddled up on the couch with a fever watching Handy Manny, and the first snow is falling outside, leaving everything covered in white. We rolled out sticky brown dough this morning and baked up foxes, stars, and hedgehogs, and now our home has the deep spicy scent of gingerbread. The dogs are snoring. We are still in our pajamas.
These photos were taken a few days ago before Rafael fell sick, at the local nature park. There are deer and wild pigs, and now that the cold weather had settled in, there are huge piles of sugar beets that you can feed to them. Raffi and his cousins loved climbing over the sugar beets, picking out the biggest ones, and giving them to the deer and pigs. Rafael said he was 'working,' which meant taking beets from one pile and bringing them to another. I was so glad that the large deer buck came to us, eating the roots from our hands, letting me take some photos of him with his herd.
Thank you all for the words that came from your hearts. I felt the warmth and comfort in them. This year has been incredibly difficult and at times very dark for me, from beginning to end. There are some things I haven't shared here because they are too personal and painful. But you have always been here, a source of light and support. I am very grateful.
Now, when Raffi is sick, it is time for patience, cuddling, reading books, and waiting. I can hardly wait to get out into the snowy woods!