Saturday, November 22, 2008

Further Thoughts on This Time of Year

What a doofus I am. It hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks as I was standing in the kitchen this morning shortly after sun up looking out on the drab landscape. This is exactly the type of day I yearned for this past summer when the gardens were bursting, tourist's cars were zooming up and down the road, I was sweating and exhausted. Instead of mitching and boaning about this time of year, why not enjoy and appreciate it?

There is really nothing, besides daily chores which take just a small fraction of a day's time, that must be done outside. That means my work load is cut in half right there. I yammered all summer about wanting time to spend inside the house. Well, here I have it. What a perfect time to cook and bake, creating luscious aromas to fill the whole house. I have a wonderful potpourri mix that simmers on the wood stove and makes people entering think I've just pulled an apple pie from the oven. I'll put it to simmering and enjoy that.

And there's the wood stove itself snap-crackling away filled with dry wood. If you're familiar with wood heat, you know it gives off BTUs that are like no other kind of heat. Soothing. Comforting. Calming. Spend any amount of time sitting or lying in front of an open fire, and you soon feel very relaxed and restful. (Or in other words . . . asleep.)

If I can't learn to appreciate the stark beauty of the barren November landscape, it's nobody's problem but my own. As I drove down the road some 28 miles yesterday, I found myself thinking how much more comfortable driving itself is at this time of year. The roads were clear and dry. I didn't have a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel nor did my eyes feel like they were about to pop out of my head because of tensely watching for deer to bound out of the lush growth coming right up to the shoulder of the road. The grasses were dried and sparse, the trees were bare so I had good visibility on either side of the roadway.

We may be snowless, but that also means there are no hours to be spent removing snow from our quarter mile long driveway or hand shoveling paths around the house or to the animal quarters.

Doggone it, this is a GOOD time of year. And I'm going to enjoy the harsh, naked beauty of the countryside, the cold, crisp sounds and invigorating aromas inside and out, of snowless November. We are blessed with lots of warm clothing and a comfortably heated house. What's not to like about this time of year?

The fruit trees hang on to their leaves longer than any of the other trees.

The field garden is cleaned and tilled. The strawberries are snug and ready for a winter's nap under a thick blanket of insulating mulch.

The pond now has a good layer of solid ice on it. We're hoping for ice skating on Thanksgiving Day.

This is the beginning of our loop trail back into the woods. It goes up quite steeply (killer steeply!) to the top of our ridge, east a bit, and then back down on the east side of our property. We don't use it much in the summer, but it's our snowshoeing exercise in the winter when we don't want to leave home.

1 comment:

RuthieJ said...

I think you hit the nail right on the head there Mama Pea! Strange as it may seem, this is a good time of the year--really no more outside chores for me either except for keeping birdfeeders filled, so when I'm outside it's usually just for "fun" and if it's too crappy to go out, then I don't feel the least bit guilty about staying in and tackling some knitting projects while enjoying the warmth of a crackling fire in the fireplace. Yes indeed, there's plenty to be thankful for! :-)