Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A day in the country

“Would you join me for a day in the country?” Dave asked Tuesday morning as we snuggled under the covers in our cold bedroom.

Dave built up the fire in the wood stove while I walked Newton up the driveway. The snow crunched under my feet and tiny branches of buckthorn stood out black against the white snow. Newton peed every few steps. The sun was just washing the horizon with peach when we returned to the house.

Breakfast was granola made with our maple syrup. Topping options included chopped dates, raisins, craisins and dried cherries as well as four kinds of nuts. The fragrance of bergamot filled the air from my fresh Earl Grey tea. We washed the dishes while we watched the red ball of the sun creep above the trees.

Dave spent the day in his shop, milling red elm for stair treads and counter tops. In the house, I worked on a new felted landscape, trying to reproduce the look of trees against the snow. Outside, the temperature which had started at 18 below slowly climbed to almost zero. After lunch, we sat in the living room listening to a podcast of On the Media and watched the wood peckers at the feeders The red patches on their heads glowed in the winter sun.

Late in the afternoon, just before sunset, we snow-shoed across the fields and sloughs for exercise. Newton followed every scent trail he could find. The air was still. In the distance, our sheep milled around the barn yard, searching for the best mouthful of hay, certain that their neighbors' pile was tastier than the hay in front of them.

Just before bedtime, we walked Newton up and down the driveway again. The night sky was bright with stars. The constellation Orion hung over us, the three stars in his belt brilliant points of light. The wind was rising and the blades of our wind generator whispered on the air.

It had been an idyllic day in the country.

Not every day is like that. Today, we bedded the shed in the ram pasture with loose straw so that Bucklet, the goat, will stop shivering. Dave carried the straw. I followed him armed with a 2”X4” to protect him from Winthrop,the ram. Fortunately Winthrop was more interested in the straw than in Dave. My fingers tingled as the cold seeped through my lined leather barn gloves until carrying bales warmed me. I spent the rest of the day in the basement doing the year-end inventory on my wool. Dave worked in the cold garage, turning more logs into boards. Still a day in the country, just not so picture postcard perfect as yesterday.

1 comment: