Monday, December 26, 2016

Simple gifts

We are spending a quiet Christmas at the farm this year - just Dave and I, his Mom, Newton the dog, Oolong and BC the cats, thirty eight sheep, one alpaca, and six chickens.

We give the gifts of corn and hay to the sheep and alpaca, cat food and dog food to the cats and dog, and chicken laying mix to the chickens. The sheep will soon gift us with their fleeces and their babies. The cats and dog share our lives on a more intimate basis. Oolong spreads herself in front of the wood stove and decorates the living room with her elegance. BC and Newton vie for floor space within stroking distance of either Dave or me.The chickens gift us with three eggs nearly every day. I love reaching into their nest box to find the smooth, brown ovals, cool to the touch and beautiful within. The egg yolks are firm and dark yellow, almost orange, with a wonderful flavor.

It has been raining most of the day. A thin crust of ice coats the snow drifts. As I write, the lights flicker once, twice, and go out. Probably ice on the electric lines. I find the candles and light them. Dave cleans the chimneys on the kerosene lamps and sets one beside each of us. Grandma Alice continues her crocheting. She knows the pattern so well that it doesn't matter that she can barely see.

The wood stove keeps us warm; we have ten cords of wood in the back yard. We have water stored in the basement. I'll cook our sweet potato casserole in a cast iron fry pan on the wood stove and ham slices on a griddle on the wood stove. After Christmas dinner, Grandma Alice and I will sing along as Dave plays  carols on his fiddle. We have no internet access, no radio, no TV. It doesn't matter. We have warmth and food and family - simple gifts.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you guys ended the year in love and grace, like we all should. The Dave and Joanie upward bound working summers are still one of the times in my life I cherish most. Although I'm still allergic to hay. Tony