I did chores this morning in smaller stages, breaking down the outdoor work into three smaller trips. Trip one was before light came, feeding horses in the dark wind. The second trip happened after a fire was lit and the sun rose. After I had a cup of hot tea. I went out and fed the barn crew, who were comfortable out of the fray in the old structure. The pigs, goats, rabbits, and Monday the ram lamb were happy to greet me. The pigs squealed and banged their pen walls as I dumped their chow into their pan. Bonita stood up on the wooden railing to watch, hoping the grain was for her. Francis happily chewed her hay in the stall, out of the weather. Monday was happy to eat his share out in the storm. He was the only animal from the barn who chose to eat outside. Scottish Blackface sheep are the toughest animal on earth, I sometimes think. I have no guilt feeding the sheep last. They are out in the storm walking around like nothing is happening. Atlas is mounting ewes and Sal is glaring at him from his stance of livid impotence. I'd be jealous, too. You need to be a certain kind of man to have a sex life out in an ice storm.
I'm heading out now to bring a bale to the flock. When they are all set I'll have a few more chores here and there: water buckets to the horses and bringing in the rabbits bottles to defrost by the stove, but mostly the day will be spent indoors. I have writing to do. I also want to take time to stretch and savor the need for the simple comforts a storm grants. There's pork in the crock pot, and a loaf of fresh bread will be baked. If the power leaves me I'll still be warm and well fed. There's a stream if mountain water running through the farm, fifty feet from my front door. I feel blessed. I am so grateful to be home, and not worried about a commute or office drama as the snow falls.
Stay warm. Stay Safe.