In my dream last night we were fabulously wealthy, my hair, make-up and clothes were perfect and I was in a swanky London hotel eating a top-notch meal with absolutely charming company. I thought about this today as I slid on sheet ice trying to feed the animals, looking like someone you'd throw money to in the street and wondered 'what if'...Then I faced the mountains, the cold wind hit me and I listened to the songbirds which are starting to return. I know what I really prefer, I know what is truly the good life.
That said, a nice solid surface, such as a sidewalk, to walk on would be nice.
We have been under snow for five months and now, with a freeze/thaw thing going on, walking on the ice could be considered an extreme sport. To feed the animals I cling onto the shed, then the trees, then the corral in a bid not to fall over. It's taking double the time to get anything done outside, but I'm not getting frustrated, one of the many things I have learned this winter is that all things pass. My cabin fever did, just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore.
I have really struggled with the true winter here - for many people it will be second nature, but to a child of the rainforest (Scotland, Western Washington) I have found it disorienting in its white constantness, fierce in its coldness and the boredom that came with it almost drove me me daft. I learned that my family doesn't do well staying inside quietly. I learned knitting gives me road rage (although I am improving with that a bit). We like to do, we like to move, make things, be outside, have projects - yet we didn't know how 'to do' winter here. I wanted to go home to the familiar - rain, greenery, mud. Yes, I missed mud.
Then we discovered cross-country skiing. I had no idea that strapping two long planks to my feet could completely change my attitude to being here. It was like a whole new world opened up to us, even our young boys took to it (okay, we bribed them with treats, but hey, they can go for several miles now). I have taken to examining the snow daily for skiing purposes. Is it sticky? Is it icy? Oh no, it's thawing - it can't go yet!
And yet it is, the yearly wheel is turning and soon we will have mud, lots of it. Last week we had heavy snow, then a major thaw. Local roads washed out by the sheer amount of water and our feed shed and corral turned into a lake of poop soup where the the debris which had been covered, quite conveniently, by the white stuff started to show itself again. Spring cleaning of the area will take on an entire new meaning.
And I am starting to write again. I am very annoyed with myself for not doing so over that past few months for despite my ennui there has been much to talk about - "find the orange man' game during hunting season, my addiction to star gazing, cabin fever (I am now an expert in this field) and the thrill of making all my own herbal skincare and medicines, the list goes on. But I feel re-energised now and want to keep a log of our times here.
I think I also stopped writing partly because I struggled with the Blogger format and may move to Wordpress- it's all terribly computery for me, but I will persevere. I will get pictures up and make sure I write regularly.
Just like the buds on the plants, the voles that live in tunnels under the snow, I am emerging from winter with a new lease on life.