Friday, February 27, 2009


This morning dawned clear and cold... -17F, to be exact. Yesterday we received about five inches of new snow, and after that front blew through, the bottom dropped out. Last night the winds battered this farmhouse as though they were angry with it.

It all made spring's warm embrace seem a long way off, even though the calendar says otherwise. This winter has been a brutal one, enough to wear down even those such as myself who normally enjoy the change of seasons.

My means of survival during these endless days of snow and cold, is hope. It requires a dose of both hope and faith to look out over the frozen landscape and imagine it green and verdant; and to look out the window, over a deep blanket of snow, mentally planning the oasis of sustenance that will be our vegetable garden. There are so many projects waiting for the spring thaw... a chicken coop, fence mending and building, garden tilling and planting, barn cleaning and renovation. It takes the faith that this cold and dark winter will eventually release its grip, in order to imagine the mountains of snow gone, the lake free of ice, and the horses sleek and shiny (as opposed to furry and scuzzy!).

And so I use these long dark days for preparation and planning... plotting the garden and ordering seeds(which, with the economy as it is, will be large), planning new fences and stalls, ordering baby chicks, dreaming up landscaping projects.

Everything here hinges on springtime. It is the season when the farmers plant the seed my husband works all year to sell. It is the season the foals are born and we breed the mares for next year's foals. The harder I work in the spring, the more flowers and vegetables to enjoy in the months to come, the more meat in our freezer and eggs in the fridge next fall. And so right now, the preparation for that busy time is essential. Using the dark days of February and March to my advantage, and entering the spring season with a plan, makes for an entire year of prosperity, security and enjoyment for my family.

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