To the east, the land is open, and we spent a summer and fall watching beautiful sunrises. Now the sun rises later, and I am either away at work or deep into weekend tasks when it peeks its face over the distant trees.
Now that the leaves are down, however, we can see some lovely sunsets , which before were hidden by the western woods.
The weather has chilled, and frost glistens on the grass in the mornings. The frost also mocks me as it covers my car windshield, laughing that I can’t park under a roof these days. I bundle up and work quickly, trying to keep circulation going until I can get into the warm car and be on my way.
Flurries fill the sky these days, and I watch from inside the house, under a blanket. Indoors, the thermostat is kept low but the furnace is the only heat source because the fireplace still smokes until an extension can be added to the too-short chimney. Tea often accompanies me, and incense or candles burn to give the room the illusion of warmth.
Secrets fill the house these days. I spent a Saturday driving all over town to get Christmas gifts. In a new house, new hiding places must be found, and I hope Stephan does not stumble upon what I have hidden from him. I wonder where to put stockings and whether to get a tree now that the kitten is big enough to get into absolutely everything. And with her penchant for tearing paper, I wonder where even to put the gifts.
Busyness fills our lives these days. Stephan is in the most hectic part of the year for his work, and I juggle the household chores – mine plus the ones he’s too swamped to do – along with teaching and attempting to keep students at least a little motivated until winter break. The young rabbits are growing, and we plan for the butchering, all while hoping another doe will kindle in another week or so. Hunting season has begun, and although the deer population is small this year, I know my husband will go out in the spirit of Pa Ingalls to provide meat for his family. Meanwhile, I make lists of pies to make for Thanksgiving, lists of supplies to purchase for the creation of family Christmas gifts, and lists of tasks to be completed around the house.
It will be our first winter in the country, and we are looking forward to it.