"Commentary from the Countryside"
Thoughts on current events,
history, homesteading, preparedness, real food, and anything else I find interesting, from a cranky, middle-aged woman's common-sense perspective.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reflections in the Snow

I just went out to call the dog in, and the sky is breathtaking!  I wish I was a good enough photographer to capture it all.  It's around ten below zero, and the air is sharp and clear.  Standing on my porch I see the moon peering down from a velvet blue sky, glinting on the icicles and lighting the yard with a soft, sliver light.  The stars are so clear and so close, and somehow their twinkling seems joyous.  Off to my right my American flag stirs just a bit in a gentle sigh of wind, the stars on the deep blue field echoing the sky above.  The sky is so soft and blue and deep I could almost feel myself falling up into the limitlessness of it, my snowflake jammies warm in the still air, blue fuzzy slippers trailing along behind.

This is the time of deep mid-winter, of frosty mornings and cozy evenings by the fire.  We've already gained an hour or so of sunlight since the solstice, but the cold has not eased it's grip, not even for the traditional January thaw.  It puts me in mind of how winter was when I was small:  endless acres of fields buried beneath the drifts, icicles on the eaves, cold toes and wet mittens.  I must admit, I'm enjoying it.  Yes, I said it, I'm actually enjoying the cold and the snow!  I think I'm acclimated to it.  This morning I was out doing some chores and the sun felt warm on my shoulders.  I got so warm I had to take off my hat and scarf, only to come in and notice the thermometer said 3 below zero.  Sunday it was all the way up to 19, and it felt like Spring to me so I went shopping after church without my jacket.
Driving to work at -15 F.
What can I say, I've always loved winter.  We wore snow pants and boots to school, and hats and mittens Grandma had knitted.  One afternoon when I was about eight the schoolbus got stuck in a giant drift, so the farmer at the closest house put a bunch of straw in his manure spreader, hooked it to the tractor, and came out to the bus.  We all clambered off the bus and into the manure spreader and had us a hilarious hayride as he went from house to house, getting everyone home before dark.  Our parents were grateful, and us kids thought it was a blast.  Can you imagine something like that happening now, in these days of political correctness, irresponsibility, and lawsuits?

Of course, it's not all fun and games.  The propane bill is wiping out my savings, and there's been some terrible accidents in the county.  And every now and then when I'm looking at seed catalogs I'm anxious to get back in the garden.

But fter a couple of years with little snow, it's been great to get out my cross-country skis again.  Skiing through drifts is a lot of work!  Fortunately I found a snowmobile trail to follow for a while.  Fresh air, sunshine, and diamonds all around.  What could be better?

By the time I got back around, my tracks were starting to fill in again.

Skiing where no one has skied before!
 Last winter I bought a used snowblower, and never needed it.  This year I can't say just how happy I am to have it!  Trying to shovel my driveway would have just been overwhelming this year.  Thankfully this old machine has been staring right up and working well.  I'm also so blessed to have a 4x4 truck!  The winds have made it difficult for the road crews to keep up, and there's a time or two I probably would have been stuck, if not for that magical button on the dash.

Work has been taking a lot of time, with plenty of meetings and such.  Many days it seems I hardly  get through supper and do up the dishes before it's bedtime already, but I have been working on projects, such as trying to finally finish the window quilts for the front room, cleaning out the basement, and experimenting with some new recipes for laundry soap and venison lunchmeat.  I've also been dealing with some allergy-type things and have embarked on a crusade to not only get chemicals out of my home but to improve my immune system.

So all in all, it's been a  busy winter!  I hope this finds all of you doing well.  God bless, and stay warm!