Sunday, November 20, 2016

Snow Day

A storm is passing through. It came early in the morning while I was still asleep and the farm was still dark. I woke up to inches of wet snow covering everything. It was striking, even in gray morning light, to see the color of my world change. I wanted to creep deeper into the covers and dogs, and pulled Friday under the covers with me. She is limp as a drowned rat when she’s tired and the only protest was a sigh. I gave her a hug and felt Gibson’s heavy head over the covers. He wanted in. By this time Friday was realizing morning was here and I knew I had a fire to light, animals to check on, and a farm to tend.

Today was a surprise day off. The fact that it also was a snow day was luck. I had scheduled the day weeks in advance for the second part of a fiddle lesson weekend with Heather. Heather was coming for lessons from Gettysburg, PA and was planning on spending the night in Cambridge but the weather reports were ominous. She ended up heading home early and I used the free time to rest up. I stoked the stove and watching some Gilmore Girls while drinking coffee (apropos) after all the necessary work was done.

In the late afternoon I stuck a chicken in the oven with some onions and potatoes, put some hardwood in the stove, and grabbed my shotgun. I had shells for small game in one pocket and deer in the other. The wind was finally dying down and instead of gusts of white air and ice like I had experienced during chores, things were calmer. I sat out with my gun on a saddle pad in the snow for an hour and a half at dusk. I didn’t expect to see a buck or a bunny, but I was ready for both. It felt amazingly quiet. Occasionally I would hear the distant gunshot from another hunter but mostly the world seemed insulated and personal. The ground showed prints and promises and I did my best but it didn’t take long for my feet to feel numb and my face turn red. As the sun disappeared I headed home. It was nearly dark when I walked inside to my dogs.

If I have one wish for you, it is that you someday get to walk inside a warm house after hours in a cold wood. That you can dry your boots by a fire and inhale the smells of roasting meat and vegetables. It was such a beautiful moment, that. Sometimes I think this whole farm is about the moments I come inside and know comfort, under its rawest terms. Blankets feel softer, food tastes better, drinks hit quicker, life seems simpler.

It was a very nice Sunday. A reminder what I am fighting for.


Blogger Birdie said...

Thanks for a memory of this particular sensation- cold chores done and lovely warmth of the wood stove and aroma of delicious dinner upon entering the house. I no longer have the farm chores or the frigid snowy winters of the interior region of the province, but luckily I still have the warmth of the wood stove to combat the bone chilling dampness of the west coast rain!

November 20, 2016 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

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November 21, 2016 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

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November 21, 2016 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Beautiful picture!

November 22, 2016 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger T. Crockett said...

There's a paragraph in Moby-Dick about how you can never be truly comfortable unless one part of you is the opposite. So your bed never feels more cozy, than when your nose (above the covers) is chilled. Your post today reminded me of this.

November 28, 2016 at 7:48 AM  

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