Thursday, March 12, 2009

mud season

And so it's Mud Season. That wonderful time in Vermont where the top layers of our dirt roads thaw and the base remains frozen. This creates a foot of waterlogged garbage with ruts deep enough to lose a Jack Russell terrier in. Driving to work is like trying to find the right set of tracks to hook your tires into and hope you don't bottom out. But crappy roads mean temperatures are rising, that things are changing, and I'll put up with them because of what happened after work last night.

I came home to a relatively warm, and sunlight porch. It was 52 degrees, the stream down the hill was roaring. I grabbed a bottle of hard cider, put on a heavy sweater, grabbed my guitar and banjo, and went out on the porch to play a few songs outside. Since the porch is screened, I can leave the door to the cabin open and the dogs can pad in and out from the fireplace to me. So we had this weird twilight time of open front doors, a fire inside, a bubbling creek, a waltz on the banjo, and dogs milling about at the same time. With the chickens strutting about, and the sheep finally back in their spring pasture the whole farm seems to be stretching its arms into daylight savings. That deserves a few songs.

I hate how far away from October we are, and how long ago fall was. But to know the seeds of summer and a lot of change are getting planted, well that feels good. Really good. Mud be damned.

P.S. My peas are a foot tall and climbing up my desk at work and my kitchen window. So front porch dog concerts aren't the only signs of spring.


Blogger Trailing Mira said...

Love it! I hear ya about the mud... we just moved outside the city to a 'cabin-like' house.... dirt road included.

I gotta get my seeds on the go too... our growing season begins later than yours, so I think it'll work out.

March 12, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger ~ Denise ~ said...

aahh...makes me take a look at my surroundings to see what signs of change are beginning. ;)

March 12, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger kate said...

I experienced SW Vermont's muddy roads yesterday, and I'm headed back to my cabin for another week of it.

Some roads are tougher than others, depending on farm machinery using them.

Luckily, my little dirt road is usually fine.

March 12, 2009 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

We're muddied up in Texas too, after a lengthy drought. My peas look good, but they're still dinky - just a couple of inches tall.

March 12, 2009 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Geez...I wanna be your neighbor! It's still irritatingly cold here in northern Illinois. I'd swear I heard a robin the other day, though...

March 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Mama Pea said...

You're ahead of us here in northern Minnesota. We just had a good 6-8" of snow and all the roads (including paved highways) are covered with packed ice and snow. (Our high today looks like it's going to be 9 above.) Our mud season usually doesn't hit full tilt until April. My birthday is in that month and whenever I'm asked what I'd like as a gift, I say 'asphalt.' Spring would be a lot better without M-U-D!

March 12, 2009 at 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you notice The Joy of Planting: Earth, Sun and Peas in the NYT today?


March 12, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mud season in KY too! But there are signs that spring is just around the corner.

March 12, 2009 at 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For years, our signs of spring were robins returning to the backyards in search of worms, but they don't migrate like they did 30years ago -- they migrate locally and can be seen throughout the winter here in Indiana. Same with the Canada geese.

Now, our true sign-of-spring is the dead skunks along the roadsides. And we're smellin' awful pretty around here right now!

March 12, 2009 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I thought "Swearing Hill Road" was a nickname! Excellent

March 12, 2009 at 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mud roads, baby cows, and shedding horses are all pointing to spring out here in Colorado. However, I'm still a few snowstorms away from being completely convinced that spring will in fact happen.

March 12, 2009 at 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the name of the road;)

March 13, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Sonya --Dime Store Thrift said...

Found you by happy accident at the library...loving your book and your way of writing. I want chickens. Hubby says No. There WILL be chickens, at some point!
Take Care, Sonya

March 13, 2009 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Erin said...


You don't know me; I'm just a random wannabe farm girl from Seattle (currently living in Texas) who picked up your wonderful, lovely book in Barnes and Noble.

I've been reading it for the last couple of days, trying to make it last much longer than it should. While I'm reading it on the couch next to my husband, I'll sigh heavily and he will ask me what's wrong - and my reply is one of the following: "I want bees" or, "I want chickens" or, "You'll never believe what happened to her rabbit."

I dream about the life you write about, and I've decided that just because we don't yet live on our dream farm (and most likely won't for quite a while), we can have parts of that life.

Thank you for your book. I love it.

March 13, 2009 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Swearing hill is a real place!

And thank you Erin, holy crow that was nice of you to say.

March 15, 2009 at 8:43 AM  
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