The winter is finally settling in upon us, although storms are still heading south of here. The promised big storm of Wednesday is now forecast for Northern Mass, leaving us stuck in an arctic blast of cold air. And although the snow falls south of here, the winter progresses on, cold and a bit barren, and more like the Arctic after all...
The windows for the porch just arrived, and we'll be readying ourselves for the spring haul-over of the front porch, building a play room/comfortable space to watch the world go by. As the Allen Lumber guys unloaded window after window after window, I realized how nice it is going to be to sit in that room, when it is a real room, with that cup of coffee or tea, staring out the windows at this little valley. The most picturesque views of the world from here are to the North, and consequently, not ones we can see from most of the house. Aidan has the best view, and when we someday replace Milo's window, so will he. I often think of writing from Aidan's room, sitting where I finally put his desk, hoping the view would inspire him to draw, or work on his school work, or do anything that isn't related to staring at his Ipod or the computer.
We're settling back into our routines after the start of the new year, and I especially am finding some satisfaction in working out in Greensboro. I am glad I don't have to go every day, and that I don't have to get sucked into the drama of a small work place, although I still hear a lot of it from there, from Sterling, from the Center for Northern Studies. But from my safe, quiet, little perch at home, I get to go out into the world once a week and enjoy the company of others. And do what I do, and what I do well. It is such a stretch for me to provide childcare at home because I want the comfort of a classroom, and supplies, and "areas of interest" and coworkers. And it is sometimes frustrating for me there to see people have all those things, and not make the most of them. But mostly, it is an enjoyable, sweet time. When I don't think about having to get up at 5:30 to be there by 7, and when I also don't think about the fact that when I leave, I have to get the big kids to Waterbury to meet their dad, so I won't actually be home eating dinner until about 8pm... then I have fun.
But it is when I don't overthink having to go out to do chores that I have fun doing them, too.
This weekend, Col was battling a nasty cold (mine has stayed in my sinuses where it is pesky, but not awful), and so I headed out to do chores Saturday morning with a sled loaded with two 5 gallon buckets of water, one of compost, and a 50 pound bag of organic piggy grain. Usually I slide it in the deeper snow, but that day, for some reason, I just chose not to for some reason, instead letting it glide behind me in the track we've dug to walk to the critters. The snow was nice and bright, glinting blue-white in the sun, and a bit slick. I was wearing ordinary mud boots, rather than my insulated ones with deep treads.
I'm sure you see where this is headed.
Usually I stop at the top of the short, but steep, little hill to the pig pen and just carry the buckets down. Sometimes. I stop the sled against my heels on the way down the hill, sliding down in little 4 inch increments.
Now I know you can see where I am headed. And you're right... it is straight on my ass.
The sled seemed to pick up speed just at the moment I realized I should stop it or there would be water and compost everywhere. I stepped in front just as a big truck began driving by, and in swirl of snow and water, I was there, keister on the ground, arm in the water bucket, wrist sprained, and feet in the air.
Go ahead. Laugh. Really... laugh hard. I understand. It was freakin' hilarious.
But I still had to gather eggs, lift the five gallon buckets of water nearly neck height to dump the water into the pig's water bin, and empty the grain bag into the feed bin... and scoop grain out to screaming ducks, squawking hens, and rooting, snorting pigs.
With my sprained wrist. On my right hand.
Did I mention the thermometer said "-0.9"?
And that I wasn't wearing any gloves?
Yep.... It was COLD.
Colin's fevered hands came in "handy" when I got in, and he wrapped his palms around my aching wrist, while I tried not to laugh and cry at the same time.
Sometimes I think it is funny that someone who thought she'd be an academic in some New England/Atlantic city is upside down on her arse on a rural Vermont mini farm. The hip-hop loving Syracuse tough mouth is surrounded by the whitest people ever in the snow with pigs snorting in her ears. (I swear they were laughing at me!) The writer, artist, foreign-language lover, is wiping baby butts and chasing chickens. Who has time for art and language?
I'm not sorry. (Ok, usually). And I am going out to stand on the porch, and look north to our beautiful view of the valley, and dream of time to write.