Is it really possible that we didn’t have a hard frost until now? This October has been so wonderfully mild, allowing us time to get many, but not all of our outside projects done before cold weather set in. But now this frost is a sure sign that winter is on its way.
I switched out the Littles’ summer clothes for winter just this past weekend. Just in time I think, but there are a few gaps in their wardrobe that needs to be filled. Which of course leaves me dreaming of patterns and fabrics and wishing for more sewing time but knowing that realistically I’ll probably have to just go shopping for it.
The woodstove has been brought into full use, no longer just for evening fires, we’re keeping it burning even during the afternoons as well. So the all day tending and evening banking is an added beat to our daily rhythm.The water for the goats was frozen over. And the hose that we use to fill their buckets is no longer functional with these very chilly temperatures, so morning and afternoon chores now require a trip back to the house to fill the water buckets.The woodbox has reappeared from summertime cellar storage to be filled from outside every day. A chore that the little girls always want to try to help with, but because of their little arms is more often assigned to one or both Middles, Mama or Papa. Taking turns does seem to make it less of a chore, and the little ones contribute by carrying a log or two inside to add to the woodbox. How they love to help!Christmas wish lists are being made and some secret gift making has begun, and a daily update of the Christmas countdown is brought to me by Zach (56 days in case you were wondering). Requests for Christmas lights in bedrooms have been made, so another trip to cellar storage needs to be made soon.
We’re enjoying these last few days of evening light, knowing that the coming time change will mean that Papa drives home from work in the dark, the goats need to be tucked into bed that much sooner, and the very precious light will need to be taken advantage of by earlier rising. Oh, I so don’t look forward to earlier rising!
This weekend our Middles packed up and headed out for a weekend at camp. While it isn’t the first time they’ve been gone, it is the first time they’ve gone to camp. Exciting, yes. But I admit I was a little apprehensive about how they’d fare their first weekend away to an unfamiliar place.
Knowing that they were only about an hour away, that they’d really only be away for two nights, and that they’d be together was comforting for this Mama. Our little home was so very quiet with only three Littles running about, noticed especially at suppertime when we rearranged ourselves around the table to make those empty chairs seem not so empty. And while the Middles enjoyed their time away, it was so very nice to have all of our usual chairs filled when they returned home. As usual for September, the weather has shifted a bit more. We’re not yet in Autumn, but we’re not in the midst of summer either. The shadows have lengthened, the light has changed, and there’s a different feel to the air lately. The sun rises a little later and sets a little earlier, telling us that these summer days will be ending soon. Sophie noticed it when she was outside after sunset and ran back inside for a jacket, announcing, “It’s a very bunch of chilly outside.”
We still have so many summer projects that we want to finish, and some that we haven’t even started yet. The change in the weather is working to encourage us to move as quickly as we can through the list and focus on those things that are most important, like firewood. Because, as Sophie said, “It’s a very bunch of chilly”. And we know that a warm fire will be welcomed very soon.
This summer has been flying by and we haven’t even gotten to the beach once yet. I know that this week would be perfect to go since it is so very hot here, but it seems almost too hot to sit out in the sun. (Hot is a relative term. It’s been hitting 90 degrees every day. Here in Maine, we call that HOT. Down in Texas, it was a cooler summer day.) I think I need to just plan a day and go.
Even though we haven’t made it to a day of ocean side swimming, we have been doing a bit of summer seizing. Yesterday we met a lot of friends at the park for a game of capture the flag.
The waterfront was hot and still without the characteristic breeze to blow any relief until the sun began to set and the shadows grew long enough to cover the field. The kids played several rounds of the game, with a few moments of rest in between and during the game.
After a while a band joined the scene at the waterfront for what looked to be a video shoot. Once the cameraman got all the shots he needed, the band had a little fun playing around. And we had a little fun listening. One of the band members had a beautiful old Saint Bernard named Hugo. Silas followed him everywhere, and finally had a chance to sit and pet the “puppy”.
Capture the flag gave us a chance to capture a bit of the summer. Next stop – the beach!
I’m not 100% certain what the official snowfall total was for our area. Certainly less than the 3 feet seen by some places in Connecticut. I think we got between 20 and 24 inches of snow. Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s a lot of snow for one storm. But when I look outside my window it all seems so… right. This is Maine, after all. And this is winter. So we’re supposed to have snow on the ground. The odd thing to me, is that the snow we just got, is the only snow on the ground.
We fully expected to lose power, and we were completely prepared for that. But we are so very thankful that we didn’t. It’s so much nicer to watch a blizzard when your lights are on and your toilet flushes. (I can handle not having lights, but toilets that don’t flush, that’s another story. Maybe I was scarred a bit when we lost power for 2 days only 1 day after Silas was born. Flushing was a luxury I was desperate for, and lifting the 5 gallon bucket to fill the toilet 24 hours after giving birth is off limits, but my pride insisted on taking care of things myself. But you really didn’t need to know that.)
But this storm, oh, this one was perfect in it’s peacefulness. Because power never went out, my husband wasn’t called in to work. We just sat and watched the snow fall. And we made popcorn, and watched the snow fall. And I knitted, and watched the snow fall. And we played games, and watched the snow fall. It was, I think, exactly what we’re supposed to do sometimes. Taking time out from the very busy schedules we make for ourselves.
Maybe because we don’t know how to stop on our own and pause, God sends us a reason every now and then.
After the storm, then sun dawned bright and even more glorious than usual. Maybe it was because of the reflection on all the pristine, glittery white with the brilliant blue sky as the backdrop. Maybe it was because the intensity of the storm made us appreciate the brightness of the light so much more. Whatever it was, it seems to me that everyone steps out a little more gingerly than before.
Taking extra time to add extra layers.
Setting about the work to be done to shovel out.
Focusing on the task at hand instead of on a myriad of details that really aren’t important.
Greeting the world a little at a time instead of all at once. Perhaps this is the rhythm of winter that we’re missing. This bit of hibernation that gives us a chance to reset. The news headlines said the storm paralyzed New England. From my point of view, I think it refreshed us.