Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Last weekend, during the dark, pre-dawn hours, I took Penny for a walk to the wooded area behind the library.  In the dimness Penny stared intently into the woods, as if looking for small animals that might be moving through the underbrush, and I found myself looking intently into the woods as well.  As the snowflakes drifted down around us, the woods indeed looked lovely, and romantic, and a bit scary all at the same time.

I don’t often think of poetry, but I found myself recalling one of Robert Frost’s better-known pieces, which probably is one of the best “snow poems” every penned:

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Buckeye Basketball

The Ohio State men’s basketball team has quietly put together a fine season.  After limping out of the gate in Big Ten conference play, thanks in large part to an injury to Evan Turner, the Buckeyes have reeled off 9 conference wins in a row.  Their last win was a 19-point trouncing of Illinois on the road on Sunday, in a game filled with highlight dunks, killer three-point shots, and tough, scrappy defense.

Evan Turner

This year’s Buckeye team is a good example of why college basketball can be fun to watch.  The team’s starting five is solid from beginning to end, basically consistently of four lanky guards, all of whom can shoot and run, and an undersized, hustling, shot-blocking center.  One of the guards, Evan Turner, is an excellent player who routinely racks up rebounds and assists and can be counted on for a clutch basket when the chips are down.  Two of the other guards, Jon Diebler and William Buford, have silky smooth outside shots, and when they are hitting no defense can afford to leave them open.  The fourth guard, David Lighty, is a steady, athletic, experienced player who can get out on the break and then finish, plays tough defense, and has really worked to improve his outside shot.  The center, Dallas Lauderdale, is a gritty, dive-for-loose-balls type who typically can be counted on for a rim-shaking dunk or two on offense and a fistful of blocked shots on D.  Each of these starters plays a lot of minutes, and it shows — not because they get tired, but because they play so seamlessly together.  Buckeyes’ coach Thad Matta and his staff have done a wonderful job in melding the starters into a formidable unit.

Tomorrow the Buckeyes have a huge game, at home against Purdue.  The game is crucial because Ohio State and Michigan State are tied for the conference lead, with identical 20-6 overall and 10-3 conference records, and Purdue lurks a half game behind, at 9-3 in conference and 21-3 overall.  The Buckeyes gave Purdue one of those losses, in a shocking come-from-behind victory in West Lafayette.  A victory tomorrow night in Value City Arena would be a tremendous achievement, and would go a long way toward determining the Big Ten regular season champion.