Greeting to the day_StaatsOur landscape is white and the skies have been quite gray and overcast – the gun-metal gray of winter.  The days are short and the darkness sometimes seems especially long.  This morning I got up before dawn and was drinking my coffee and reading the newspaper.  I eventually looked up and noticed the brightness of the morning had started to take over the black sky.  As I stepped out the front door, the blue of the sky and the white of the clouds caught my eye; it was a beautiful contrast and a welcome splash of color that we had been missing the past week.  The trees are leafless structures now, thrusting their branches up and out, and the cotton-like clouds seemed to be catching on the branches of the tree as they were moving by.