This is the January page of my calendar. (You can still get the 2013 Chickens in the Road Calendar here, by the way.) It’s a cold truth. The rest of the year is easy compared to winter. Spring, summer, and fall, livestock is out to pasture, feeding on their own. Creeks provide water, or if not, the faucets certainly aren’t frozen. Easy! Oh, yes, there is still work to be done, but it’s not anything like winter where the water and the food is all provided by me, not to mention the sometimes painful cold in which it must be delivered. The delivery of water, in particular, could certainly be easier, and I’m working on that issue. This is my second winter here, and the first winter was very mild, leaving me somewhat immune to proper preparation in that area. While I prepared well over the past year for many other things, frozen water and faucets slipped past me since it hadn’t been a big problem last year.
It will be resolved, and soon, with larger containers, heaters, faucets reset, and more.
But for now, yesterday and today and tomorrow, I have to deal with what is. And is it really that terrible? Is the cold air not bracing, is the exercise not healthy? Is it gonna kill me? Or maybe just be good for me? I spent one day feeling rather frustrated about the problem then I re-organized my attitude.
I stepped outside yesterday morning into a cover of snow, light flurries still flying in the air. A snowflake landed on my dark sweater, a white crystal against the material, showing clearly it’s tiny symmetrical form. A snowflake really does look just like those paper cut-outs we made when we were kids. You forget that when you’re looking at them in mass weighing down tree limbs or blanketing the ground. Snow is beautiful.
I filled my buckets and piled on my coat, gloves, hat, and chore boots.
Without the necessity of carrying buckets of water from the house, I would spend as little time as possible outside in the freezing air. Eventually, I carried 12 buckets–as you can see, not big ones, because they are too heavy for me and even if I carted them, I still wouldn’t want to lift them. By the time I was finished, I was sweating beneath my layers. Sweating in freezing cold is somehow refreshing and energizing. IT IS. Really. And the time spent working is fun, not hard. Or at least it CAN be. If you want it to be! I talked to my sweet sugary Shortcake.
Played with the goats through the fence.
Mr. Pibb, he is such a lover with his ladies! Glory Bee was all up in my face, being her old Bad Baby self, licking and nuzzling on me.
The New Baby was playing house with the hay, trying to be like mommy who is so interested in this scratchy dry stuff that can’t possibly be as yummy as cream.
Back and forth, back and forth, with buckets I came.
They are all so curious, so glad to see me, wondering why I don’t spend more time with them in this strange season.
They don’t know why it’s so cold, why all the grass goes away, why the water is hard in their buckets. They just go on each day, accepting what is and what is available and looking to me to provide what is lacking.
It’s an assumption, an attitude of entitlement, an existence of complete faith. I back their faith with my federal reserve in the barn.
It’s still packed high and deep here.
As I take hay down, I build stair steps to get up to the highest bales as I work my way through the loft.
It’s my favorite place. I like to climb high in the hay. Here is my throne.
And it is good.
P.S. Wish you were here! I HAVE BUCKETS.