Here I am. I'm not very good at keeping up with my blog, but I am ready to jump back in. Part of my hesitation is feeling like I miss so much and I have to go back and chronologically update everything that has happened since the last post, and I get overwhelmed. And the other part is just feeling like it may be redundant after posting pictures on facebook. But, it truly is a release for me sometimes to express myself in this way, and tonight I am feeling motivated.
My last post was quite melancholy as I was begrudging the coming winter and the passage of time. But funny enough, just after writing my post, I found that I felt so much better about it. Maybe I just needed to release all of those feelings and get them out. Even in the next few days, I found myself soaking in the views and just simply being at peace in the moment. And it also helped that many of our circumstances did change for the better as well, just after writing.
Blair started a new job, doing mostly finish carpentry. He works for a great guy with a stellar reputation. The guys work mostly out in Blacksburg and Roanoke, and they are long days. Blair is usually gone before the sun is up, and home after dark. He likes the work, though, and does well. Blair is usually starving to death by the time he gets home, so there is a small unspoken expectation for me to have something hot and delish for dinner. I say unspoken, but I do seem to get these texts everyday, usually between 4:30pm and 6pm, that say "I'll be home in 1 hr.". (Read: "Wife, I'm starving, get busy, and it better be good") I'm kidding. If you know Blair, you know he wouldn't really say that. Not in those words. Anyway, it's been good for me to get back into some hot, hearty meals. When Blair was mostly on the farm, he was perfectly happy to come home and cook dinner, so I guess I fell out of practice a bit. But I am honestly loving the change right now. It's a different routine for our family, but a pleasant one, overall.
Also, we committed to stay in our place here on the farm at least through the winter. And we have taken up some remodeling projects as part of our rent payment. So, goodbye black and white floral wallpaper, circa 1989. Goodbye bidet. Goodbye tacky vanity. Hello new toilet, new vanity, new bamboo floors and white paint. Oh, and goodbye sanity as we scrape off that blessed wallpaper and all the glue beneath. Sigh.
So it's a good thing I came to peace with the shift from autumn to winter, because boy did winter ever come. With a vengeance. The first real snow we had was a big one. It covered us completely, and stayed on the ground for weeks. We had several days where the temperature was in the single digits, and the windchill was 5-10 below zero. Our pipes froze several times, meaning we had to haul water from the one working faucet on the property. On those super cold nights, we had the kids sleep downstairs, by the bigger woodstove and we hung sheets to block off the upstairs. We've had several big snows since then, and we're under several inches of snow right now. We only heat our home with wood, so you can imagine the hours of cutting, splitting, chopping, stacking, etc... (And just to see the pile dwindle as fast as we stacked it!!) It's intense, folks.
I have to say, as intense as it was, situations like this always seem to be invigorating. I feel like this is what "living" really is. We have to work to be warm, and to stay warm. We are deeply in touch with the weather, the environment, the season, etc... (The same way I love planting and harvesting fresh herbs and vegetables. This is how I know I was made for this kind of lifestyle. It does my soul good. And I am so grateful to be able to raise my kids with this awareness and experience.)
We have to be resourceful and have forethought. Even when we are snowed in (as we are right now), and unable to do certain things, there is something so humbling and refreshing about God and nature just halting things. Bringing them into submission. We are forced to pause and slow. I really do love that about it. Whenever things are forced to pause, it always seems to make me feel peaceful. Like I can relax. Like I can sit with my coffee, and watch the snow cover up the world.
Sometimes, before I am even out of bed, I can hear the kids out sledding on the hill beside the house. Sometimes, I hear them screaming because someone got snowballed in the face. With love, I'm sure. What is it about kids being seemingly immune to cold weather? I walk around my house in thick wool socks AND soled slippers and I still can't feel my feet half the time. And my girls usually walk around barefoot (despite my wild protests) and don't seem phased. Does anyone hear me out there?
So, there are my musings on winter, so far. Now I feel a little more caught up and hopefully I'll post with more regularity. In the near future, I plan to begin knitting, work on a few more sewing projects for the kids, and spend some more time baking in the kitchen.
I'll leave you with some shots of our winter so far...