The Bleak Mid-Winter

I don’t have much to say yet about 2016, a damp, confused year that stumbles over furniture and blunders into walls.

January has been a distracted driver with no insurance crunching into me from behind, and our dear, over-excited dog playing too roughly with the pet rabbit, it has been slow work and slow minds, and too much chill with not enough snow.

But I’m not ungrateful! January has also been cozy, chaotic family gatherings, squirmy lapfuls of meowing nephews and lots of board games and hot chocolate. But more often than not the muddy sunlight of another overcast day infects me with gloom and indecision.

But tomorrow we’re flying to Morocco. While I was busy feeling disoriented all month so many days marched by, now it’s time to go and once again I find myself confused. Is it already the end of January? Are we really flying across the ocean tomorrow? Do we have any idea what we’re gonna do when we’re there?

Fortunately, the answer to all three of those questions is “Yes!”

We get to spend two weeks exploring old cities, visiting ancient ruins, doing a day hike or two in the Rif range of the Atlas mountains and in general doing tons of sight-seeing and picturesque tourism with E., my sister who has been in Morocco since early September.

I’m excited and relieved to scratch my adventure itch; it has bothered me fiercely ever since we returned from the trail. Levi and I spent a weekend in northern Morocco five years ago when we were studying abroad for six weeks in Spain. It was beautiful and strange and I can’t wait to go back.

We’ll be updating this site regularly with stories and pictures of our lively adventure.

In the meantime, here’s a sweet picture of our not very new dog, Samwise the day after Christmas at the top of Mt. Battie in Maine.

Proudly wearing his Christmas collar from R.
Proudly wearing his Christmas collar from R.


  1. Ruth Miller

    So glad you get to go, after one short day in Morocco I informed Ray that I need to be a rug merchant so I could keep going to Morocco. Didn’t happen?

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  2. hans wenger

    since Lancaster is currently in a blizzard (2 ft snow. winds 40 mph). i envy your presence in Morocco. Next week when your dad is with me hiking in the housatonic range mtns of CT, with, fortunately, only 1/2 foot snow, we will be thinking of you hiking in the more robust and rocky ( but hopefully warmer) Atlas mtns, almost half a world away. but still putting your feet on that mystical trail which goes ever on and on, connecting our feet to yours; hike well, my fellows.

    1. Lara

      Ironically, I envy your blizzard. I love getting snowed in, provided I have enough warmth and fattening treats in house.

      We’ll be thinking of you this weekend, sad to be hiking half a world apart, but glad we both get the chance to answer the call of the mountains. Onward and upward!

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