frost on the farm

This morning I woke up to a world of stunning frostiness. Winter has finally come to our part of the world and I am totally okay with it. I mean - look how beautiful our yard was while I was doing chores.
I’ve been thinking about how Winter encourages slow living. Daylight hours shorten, temperatures drop and sometimes deep snow makes it impossible to leave the house. So we invest our time in projects like home improvements, crafting, cooking good things, music and reading thick books. Out of necessity we go outside to split wood or shovel snow, and even though we grumble about such things, we secretly enjoy the vigorous exercise. Not to mention how satisfying it is, to come inside from the cold and make ourselves cozy with hot tea by the heater (or wood stove).
Already Charlie and I are slowing down, bundling up against the cold and preparing for our human version of hibernation. Charlie has started a batch of pumpernickel bread he learned to make from a gentleman in Sweden. The bread takes 5 days to make - from mixing the dough, to setting overnight, to baking loaves. I have started learning how to knit. (Charlie says this makes me an old grandma - which I take as a compliment.) I love the rhythm of the needles - the texture of wool yarn. To me, knitting, or any kind of handiwork, is relaxing. Therapeutic.
Last night, I rummaged through our closet to find hats and gloves, and we donned four or five layers of clothing to go for a night hike. Even though the sky was cloudy - threatening to snow - I could see the Big Dipper, hanging low and bright near a line of treetops. Our breath came out in clouds and my toes were numb, but we were happy walking hand in hand.
I guess what I’m saying is this: use this season as an opportunity to slow down. Don’t hesitate to start a creative project or pick up a stack of reading material. Make the most of cold evenings at home, but also go outside to admire Winter’s frigid beauty.

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winter dreaming

sappy Italian music on the record player. snow falling peacefully in big soft flakes. candles burning to stubs and melted wax puddling on the table. also, there's a fluffy grey cat sitting in the kitchen window watching the winter weather. I couldn't think of a better day for resting. Weekends are highlighted in bright pink on my monthly planner. That's because two whole days devoid of work are open for rest and adventure. Weekends mean poking around old antique shops and cluttered thrift stores; they mean sleeping in late and thick slabs of homemade sourdough bread for breakfast.  

On Saturday, we discover a lovely lunch spot in Deary, Idaho - a small town (pop. 500) tucked away in the mountains. Inside a creamery + bakery on Hwy 8 is a sanctuary of good food, simple decor and handmade goods. In one corner of the room are two huge floor looms surrounded by beeswax candles and cubbies of hand spun yarn - *drool*. I tell Charlie that "quiet, beautiful spaces are rejuvenating for the soul" and with a mouthful of cinnamon roll, he heartily agrees. 

On our way home from Deary, Charlie takes an unexpected turn and pulls over abruptly on the side of the road. "What are we doing?" I ask. He says "looking at some land for sale" and drives forward slowly - plowing through a drift to follow some narrow road covered in deep snow. Our Subaru makes it through without sliding around too much (and without snow tires too!). We've been looking at plots of land a lot recently - our desires to start a homestead increasing with each parcel. Nothing is stopping us of course, except we aren't quite prepared to build a home and start farming. For now we must be content with a tiny apartment and a 20'x20' community garden plot. Still, looking at the land, admiring the tall firs and envisioning a yurt home tucked away at the end of a long driveway - this dream of ours pulls at us every day. As spring approaches, I can't help "shopping" for chicks and Shropshire lambs while Charlie spends time on our house blue prints every evening before bed. 

Finally, we get home from Deary, just in time to freshen up for the Saturday night contra dance. I think the last time we've gone dancing was back in Missouri about a year ago. It feels so good to pull on my leather jazz shoes, and swirl around a few extra times just so my skirt flares out. A bunch of long haired hippies with big beards provide lively contra music and Charlie makes me laugh with his goofy dance moves.  In between tunes, the dancers wipe the warmth off their faces and step outside to cool off - laughing and talking - the yellow glow of lights outlining our faces. 

 The nooks of time between workweeks are filled with good things. Every shaping and memorable experience is written into my journal so that someday we can look back at the "days when we were young" and realize just how good we've had it. 

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moscow idaho photographer
moscow idaho photographer
moscow idaho photographer