Thursday, November 1, 2012

prodigal return

With the loss of October, so goes the warmth. The lazy days in the sixties seem to have ridden the coattails of Sandy and snow is on the radar for the weekend and nights dipping into the twenties. Just like that, Winter walked in.

I woke up in the dark house cold and unraveled myself from the quilts and coverlets to a 50-degree house, in need of coffee and some primal warmth. I got dressed in my usual farm clothes and headed outside. Gibson was with me, walking at my flanks in lantern light as we made our way to the side of the house with the wood pile, axes, and splitting stumps. I went to work, slicing some kindling and progressively larger pieces of wood up towards good sized burning logs. Gibson he watched from a lie down, eyeing Defiance as it stared at him from the back of the pickup truck. Defiance was still in bed. Not even Merlin yelled for his breakfast yet, and they would wait until a fire was lit and coffee was set on the stove. I have no problem feeding them before I have my oatmeal and coffee, but I'm heading into chores without the promise of warmth and caffeine upon my prodigal return.

Chores go by in a liquid series of motions. When you do the same thing every day you learn tricks, little time saving methods that make work flow like music. I hit the well first and grab a bucket of water, putting an empty bucket in its place to fill while I tended to the pigs. Arriving in the barn I set down the bucket to squeals and rioting as I grab their big black pan and fill it with morning ration. Gibson is locked on them, watching with pricked ears and wagging tail. Before I pour them clean water into their currently-dirty drinking bucket I fill the rabbit's water fonts and feed them as well. I look over the rabbits for any sort of sores or pain and give them a bit of clean bedding. I decide to mate a pair today for fresh winter farm meat. Bunnies in a few months will be welcomed.

With the pigs fed and the first light coming I can see the smoke coming from the chimney. It's one happy sight. There are still horses to water and hay, sheep to do the same to, too. I have the chickens to load with crumble layer feed and somehow I fight that desire to run inside for a sip of pumpkin coffee. Everyone is seen to right before I head inside. Gibson never wants to come indoors. Even food is a useless bribe. Food isn't as important as adventure to a young Border Collie.

Eventually I make my way here, and the coffee is poured. The fire warm and the music from the computer's radio station is nice. Acoustic guitars and male voices ring out as the weak sun tries to explain itself through the gray morning. Rain is the word of the day. Before then will be more firewood chopped, more chores, possibly a soggy ride on a black horse. Who knows... The day is just getting started and the coffee is hot...


Blogger JL Bartley said...

This is the life my husband and I dream of and are actively trying to make happen. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

November 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

JL, if you want it - it's yours. I really believe that.

November 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Constance Reeder said...

Jenna, I love how you are able to express yourself in your posts! Amazing writing skills flow out of you. Yes, I too love the life you are describing - that is a work of art, but the artistic ability continues at your computer keyboard and that is a beautiful thing! Thank you for sharing - someday I hope to write just like you... Con-

November 1, 2012 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

Funny how you hit the nail on the head about knowing the shortcuts when you do the same chores all the time. My husband and I were talking about Cheaper By The Dozen. He read the book and I saw the first movie (1950) with Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy. The father was an efficiency expert and always did things in the way that would save the most time. Even if it was only a few seconds. I think of that almost every time I do my chores. No extra steps!

November 2, 2012 at 12:22 AM  
Blogger Samantha Burns said...

Sounds like a great way to start the day.

November 2, 2012 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Samantha Burns said...

Sounds like a great way to start the day!

November 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Samantha Burns said...

Sounds like a great way to start the day.

November 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger bree said...

I enjoyed this visit with you this morning as you took me on your morning farm rounds. I can almost taste that coffee. Hope your day is a good one Jenna.

November 2, 2012 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger JL Bartley said...

Jenna, Thanks in part to your encouragement (we made a point to sit in on your seminars and talks at MEN Fair the past two years) and our own unyielding perseverance we are in the slow process of purchasing our dream even if it doesn't look dreamy to our friends and certain family members think we're crazy. Others think crazy is what keeps life interesting. However it turns out and however long it takes the journey is sure fun.

November 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger rabbit said...

I wish this had been my morning instead of going to work-I'd rather stay home and do REAL work ;)

November 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Lorie Hyten, adult services said...

What is your morning streaming radio station? For a pretty eclectic assortment that includes a variety that extends from early music to steampunk to old time radio shows I can recommend Radio Riel.

November 2, 2012 at 11:05 PM  

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