Thursday, February 17, 2011

take that

A thaw came today. The real deal. Fifty degrees of slush and sunshine. You actually see parts of my driveway. I was outside tonight with Jazz and Annie on a short walk and the stream that runs through my property was roaring (if a stream can roar) and the sound was spring. I stood out there and closed my eyes. Poetry, that rambling. Mixed in with that gurgling percussion was the soft hools of a Great Horned Owl in the high trees. I turned around to look at the house. It looked tired. Stains from the old furnace pipe on the front, leaves and ice stuck to the sides. It looked like a panting version of the proud white house that shone like a lighthouse on the green mountain all summer. Yet she was still there, and realize that we had almost made it though our first winter here, this pack of four. Gibson was on the steamer chest in the window, sitting on s sheepskin and watching us. A light was on upstairs in my office. It was on because I forgot to shut it off when I was watering the snap pea: but it was also on because somehow through all the furnace drama, snow plows, heating bills, and mortgage payments I managed to keep paying the electric bill. Same goes for the internet, groceries, and gas in the truck. Such modest accomplishments, but I felt like a domestic superhero. This place is making it. We're not eating Lobster dinners or keeping the heat above 64 degrees—but we are making it. And who needs 64-degrees of luxury when it's 34 degrees outside after dark!? Do you know how long it's been since we had a night above freezing?! I was floating out there among the exposed mines of dog poo from a winter of snow cover. Beaming. Hell, I didn't even have a jacket on.

I needed that breather. Today was a rough day. For no particular reason it had me languid. If anything I should have felt great. I started working out again this week, eating better, and even managed to run a mile in the gym yesterday. I had my annual review at work, (and I'm still working). All flags were at full mast, but I was just dogging it. Maybe the barometer gymnastics had me wonky.

But some time to slow down, breathe deep, and come home to a banjo and three smiling dogs was all I needed. Throw a thaw on top of that sundae and you've got yourself a farmer crouching to pounce on that defrosted soil. Soon there will be potatoes, peas, lettuce and more in it. Soon lambs will be running across the fence lines in little gangs of lost boys. And soon I'll be running again across the back roads of Washington County under a blazing summer sun. It just takes me a little time to recharge to see all that. Tonight I got it. I might even get 6 hours of sleep tonight.

Take that, winter.

Tomorrow my sister and her husband are coming up to visit the farm. We'll spend some time just enjoying the hill here, and we'll get to work the Farmer's Market table together in Bennington this weekend. It's my second market appearance, and I'll be hoping to sell some yarn and books. Wish the rookie some luck out there. I never turn it down.

17 Comments:

Blogger Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

I have days like you are describing where I can't really pinpoint it, but something is just out of sorts. Hang in there! Breathe the "spring" air and you'll be better before you know it. Our local owl chorus was singing this evening also. Such a beautiful sound!

February 17, 2011 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger ladybughomer said...

Sometimes the absurdities of my job leave me feeling like an aging Alice. The labbies at home always bring me back in balance and my craft (quilting) fills me with peace. Whilst we don't have snow on the ground here, we have other challenges that try the soul. What I mean to say Jenna is that you have done well and been good. For one so young, you still teach us oldsters a thing or two. You have my wish for a bountiful Market.

February 17, 2011 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

A great big "Woot" to seeing your driveway again. And, ahem, you ARE a domestic superhero for buying a house in the recession, remember? Keeping the utilities on should earn you a merit badge for the cape though. You and I, I think, both hold special places in our hearts for the USDA loan program and Obama's tax credit. Those and warm weather are blessings indeed.

February 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger E said...

More Iron & Wine to cheer you up: http://www.npr.org/2011/02/17/133841837/iron-and-wine-in-the-studio-stripped-clean

February 17, 2011 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Georgann said...

barometer gymnastics will do that to you on the best of days!

February 18, 2011 at 12:23 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

You have a stream that runs through your property?! Does it run all year? Do you know what its rate is (GPM)? Or do you have a two foot drop from one end to the other?

If it runs all year you could look at micro-hydropower and never have to pay an electric bill again. Here's some info on it: http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/micro-hydro-power-pros-and-cons/

If you had your own little power plant, you could still light with oil lamps, but crank up your electric heater to a blistering 68!!

February 18, 2011 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

Great news to hear you are headed to Farmers' Market again - networking rocks!!! And I'm looking forward to maybe seeing some driveway myself soon! It's been a long old winter. Janet

February 18, 2011 at 1:18 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

We had 65 degrees here in Atlanta yesterday and gorgeous blue skies. In homage to you, Jenna, I went outside, cleaned up two of my garden beds and planted snap peas.
Winter has been harsh here, too. Not your kind of harsh but we Southerns have no snowplows, few sand trucks and no ability to drive in any kind of winter weather.
I am glad you were above freezing and I am hopeful all of us will get through this crazy winter and back into our gardens.

February 18, 2011 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

Here's to warmer days ahead. Always wishing the best for you.

February 18, 2011 at 6:22 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Glad to know you are feeling warmer temperatures and seeing where snow "was". Hang in there and soon the trees will be budding out and life will come back into them.

February 18, 2011 at 6:26 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Sounds like you are having a bout of Spring Fever.

February 18, 2011 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

A stream? You never mentioned a stream - what a bonus! You might be able to generate power from it (lots of conversion loss but if it's free who really cares), at the very least you should be able to put a water ram pump (or an even more basic spiral pump) in it and provide running water all over your property without any power source needed.

February 18, 2011 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger BrookeK said...

I love it, way to go! What a feeling it must be conquering your first winter. By the end of the year my family hopes to have found/start our farm, and this is greatly inspiring. Thanks! And be well~

Brooke

February 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger E said...

Just because you have a stream doesn't mean you have water/power rights.

Check carefully before you even think about proceeding.

February 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

i'm sorry, have you been living my week? we're all allowed a blah day here and there. but never forget, even on your worst day, you are living your dream! and that's worth all the good days in a lifetime.

good luck to you for the market, and enjoy your family time. you'll do great! :)

February 18, 2011 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Is it really a good night when you get six hours of sleep? If so, that may be the reason you're feeling lethargic. Sleep is so important to vitality and so often the first thing to go when the to do list gets long. Seven or eight hours would help your body and mind a lot. I don't mean to be bossy, just concerned for you and your wonderful life.
Good luck at market!

February 18, 2011 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Must be the week for the owls. I was listening to several of them talking to one another here on our new farm. Bliss.

February 20, 2011 at 5:14 PM  

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