thankful

IMGP0610I’m not sure I’ve ever been more thankful to have a warm dry house as I am right now. Chores this evening might have topped the charts for absolutely the most miserable chore-time I can ever remember. But I won’t go there or else I might defeat the purpose of this post.

I am thankful to have chores to do. That there are cows and sheep and chickens that need tending. I am thankful to have been able to do those chores with an able body. I was very thankful at the reassuring thought, while doing those miserable  chores, that I had shelter to retreat to. And that shelter had a warm fire blazing and a sound roof and smelled of cookies and popcorn. I am thankful for bright rosy cheeks and big blue eyes. And the sound of crunching.

***********************

This morning, I am thankful once again for my cozy and warm house. I am thankful for my husband that kept the fires stoked and cooked breakfast while I went to milk Lilly out in the blowing snow. I was thankful that the golf cart was able to make the journey up the hill so that I didn’t have to huff it the whole way to do my chores. And that we did not receive a bunch of ice before the snow started falling. The snow is beautiful, too. I have a feeling this is the last glimpse of the powdery white stuff we’ll be seeing for the season. So I will do my best to be thankful for it’s fleeting beauty and the fact that it has given me another day to linger in the house and work on my pair of socks.IMGP0621

 

inevitable

IMGP0566Just as it was getting light this morning, Ira got suited up, grabbed his gun, and left to go squirrel hunting. There’s only a few more days of squirrel season left, but I think the child has shot 56 squirrels so far. Admittedly, I won’t be sad when the season ends as we have eaten so. many. squirrels. They taste fabulous, don’t get me wrong. And I am proud of him for always cleaning them with care and relish seeing how proud he is when we sit down to a meal that he harvested and often prepared all by himself. But I have strange moments of wondering when the natural balance in the squirrel population could be upset… or when hungry squirrel-eating hawks decide to pay a visit to our chicken paddock when they find tree-dwelling rodents are in short supply. Hmmmm.IMGP0594It was 12 degrees this morning. The cold weather doesn’t seem to bother Ira much, he refuses long underwear (well, any underwear for that matter) but he has actually taken to wearing socks with his rubber boots. If you know Ira, that is quite a revelation. When he returned from his hunt and set in giving Papa his report (again, if you know Ira, you also know that he always always has something to say.) he said it felt like a summer morning. Summer. He has a particular keenness for birds and pays attention to what they have to say. Apparently, this morning the birds’ chatter, and gobblers calling in the distance, alerted his brain to the fact that change is in the air. The inevitable change that happens when winter gives way to spring. And spring to summer, for that matter. And it is inevitable, too. The change. There is no stopping it. Even though there is still snow on the ground. Even though more snow could be falling this evening. Spring’s return is inevitable. And I’ll be glad for it.IMGP0504

wired… or mired?

IMGP0573We have a lovely white blanket of snow on the ground now. It has even lasted for more than a few hours! For many moons, we have not had a snowstorm like what we experienced a few days ago. I mean, it was no blizzard. Not even close. But it snowed pretty much all day long. My heart sank for awhile when, late in the morning, the snow turned over to freezing rain. I thought to myself…well, here we go again. Another classic southern Kentucky snowstorm. Blah. But, to my great relief, the snow started falling again. So white. So pure and fresh. So quiet. I think the quiet is what I love the most.IMGP0577

So. Our internet connection has been sketchy for the last couple of months. We didn’t have any service during the snowstorm, which was no big surprise, but we’ve been having issues for a lot longer than the duration of the storm. Given where I live, and given the distance the internet line has to travel to reach my house, and given the terrain over which said line must travel, I find it pretty miraculous that we can ever even get online. But we can. And we do. And I think kind of like a lot of other folks that I know (and don’t know), an internet connection has become a component of day to day life that might, just might, be a tad taken for granted.IMGP0581

Except when it just won’t work. Then the frustration sets in. For me, the frustration isn’t so much not being able to get on the internet. The frustration comes when I realize my own increasing dependence on the computer/internet that I have come to possess. Even me, in my remote cabin in the woods. I guess I don’t really like feeling a dependence on something so obscure and intangible. Something that doesn’t put supper on the table. Something that doesn’t have a smell or a taste. Something that doesn’t add another log to the woodstove when necessary. But, darn, if it isn’t an incredibly valuable tool when used as such. And I think here lies the conundrum  lots of us face as we try to navigate our daily dosage of the world wide web.IMGP0582

For a couple of months, we have endured being booted offline at random and disregarding whatever important task was at hand. Just suddenly, bye bye. Our process of regaining our connection developed into a strange series of steps, kind of like an awkward and uncomfortable dance between strangers. Reboot the modem. Restart the computer. Put the computer to sleep at just the precise moment. Etc. Etc. What worked one day may or may not work the next. Finally, it was agreed, we would call the phone company. We were paying for the service after all. Within the hour of placing our call for help, some real nice fellas from the phone company arrived on the scene. They didn’t even squirm when I showed them the steps up to the loft of our cabin. The steps that they would have to climb in order to reach our computer. (If you’ve not been here for a visit, our “steps” consist of wooden pegs sticking out of a spiraling tree trunk. Maybe slightly intimidating for the uninitiated.) Anyhow, the real nice fellas found that, indeed, the line from our outdoor kitchen to our house had a fault somewhere along the way, and needed replacing. A few days later, the real nice fellas came back on the scene with a trencher and new cable and in short order, we were back in business. At least the internet line was back in business. Our computer, on the other hand, was feeling fatigued from it’s tumultuous relationship with the internet and is currently on (hopefully) temporary hiatus until it recovers (aka Eric’s brother fixes it for us). In the meantime, good friends came to the rescue and loaned us their laptop.

So, we are back online now. At least most of the time. Catching up on some important and other not-so-important matters. I think for me, these past few months have been a wonderful exercise in recognizing a few things about myself and my computer usage: Am I tethered? Am I capable of shutting the damn thing off? Am I wired for a cause? Or am I just mired by excess? It’s all good stuff to consider, I suppose. But I do think it would behoove us all to unplug every once in awhile. Just for fun…