I’m not going to talk about the state of our road right now. Nor the yard. I’m not going to dwell on the oozing slush and the mud and the need for extreme caution with every single step. I’m also not going to discuss the state of our firewood pile. I’m just not going there.
Instead, I’m going to talk a little bit about this… Wintertime in the mid-south is a roller coaster ride. There is really no consistent theme other than we will surely have a couple of really cold spells and maybe a few snows somewhere between November and April. The snowfall may not amount to much more than a dusting, but enough to turn these Kentucky hills sort of white. When we have a single snow event that accumulates to nearly a foot of the stuff, well, it is kind of a big deal.
I think I used to enjoy the winter months more than I do now. As I have grown older and my level of responsibility is so much more, the winter months can truly be a pain in the ass. With a house full of kiddos and a farm full of critters, there are many more mouths to feed and water now than there were when Eric and I were just getting started. I am grateful for all of those hungry mouths, don’t get me wrong, as it is proof of an abundant farm… but I have yet to find the “pause” button for all of those mouths when the weather takes a turn and the road is impassable and the water system freezes. If you know what I mean.I know at some point or other all of us farmwives have mentioned that fact that our farms are not really set up for ease in dealing with extreme winter weather. We just don’t have enough of it to justify the effort in “winter-proofing” all of our farm systems. We have our ways of making things work just fine, but not without some effort. Seems we all have been caught with our pants down at some point, and curse ourselves for some stupid slip-up in preparedness. Or lack thereof.Typically, though, our winter weather leaves as quickly as it came, and we sigh and say “wasn’t that pretty?” and then grunt “now what a damn mess!” In the throes of the winter storm, when I could feel the beginnings of myself going buggy and my kids challenging my and each other’s patience, I decided to read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “The Long Winter” aloud to the family… just as a reminder of how easy we’ve got it. And a gigantic reminder of why I don’t live in North Dakota.
My dear husband’s solution to the cabin fever problem was to hitch the kayaks up to the tractor and take the kids for a redneck-style-white-water-rafting-tour-de-farm sled ride. They had a blast. (And Elowyn and I got the house to ourselves for a bit.) The morning the temperatures were going to rise enough to begin the thawing of all that snow, Eric swept into the house from doing his chores and demanded that I get my coat on. The big kids watched the baby and I got my own Bugtussle style sleigh ride…I will say the snow was fun while it lasted! Now I suppose I’m ready for spring!