Spring and her warm days are a distant thought as February's relentless winds blow. A thunderstorm, yes, thunderstorm in February, is now blowing through the Midwest; however, snow is on its heels for the weekend.
In the middle of a high wind warning, it seems that after 148 years this old farmhouse has proven she's sturdy and well built. Surrounded by open fields, today's howling winds are beating upon her, and while she may creak ever so slightly and her windows may somewhat rattle, she refuses to give in. After all, there are six trees in the cellar holding her up...but that's another story!
Still in winter hibernation, I find myself tossing another log on the fire, continuing to dress in layers, and cozying up under flannel sheets and heavy quilts. And while spring surely has the fair beauty of sunny, blue-skied days, February also brings a richness all her own.
When stepping outside on snowy winter days that are crisp and clear, sounds, no matter how slight, seem to carry for miles. As I go about wintry morning chores, I am careful to sidestep a variety of delicate bird tracks. Stopping to look down at their lace-like pattern, they are a simple pleasure that will continue dotting my path hidden under an early-morning coat of white.
A trip to the barn is followed by a chicken-check, then it's time to feed the barn cats circling around my ankles. I'm certain that one of these days we will become a tangle of cats and boots, and I will go down with a thump. Nonetheless, they make me smile and certainly defy the traditional thought that cats are aloof and distant. Amazingly dog-like, once anyone in our family is spotted, they come running, only to flop down on their backs waiting for a tummy rub (which we cheerfully oblige!) Almost done with chores, I'll feed a warm breakfast to our faithful guard dog, who will most likely wander back to her bed afterward.
Mornings so crisp and quiet make it a delight to be outside. And while anyone who knows me will tell you that I am always cold, a heavy barn coat and boots keep me quite warm. I decide to linger awhile and fill bird feeders and find myself wondering where I'll put the garden this year. Our fruit trees went in last fall, so I'll have to shuffle things around a bit. Then I begin plotting and planning flowerbeds, berry bushes, the kids' gardens, a tree house...before I know it, my mind is a flurry of activity!
But for now, this old saying rings true: "Enjoy the season you are in." Not only true for seasons of the year, but for seasons of life. And for now, the season I am in means I need to move a bit more quickly. Kids will be home from school before I know it, and the cookie jar is empty!
Celebrating the everyday is what country living is all about.
Mary is a Midwest farmgirl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, animals, and for kids to play and explore is the best kind of life." You can visit Windy Meadows Farm at www.windymeadowsfarm.blogspot.com.
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