Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Letters From The Barn: Wintertime

Letters From The Barn:

I was born and raised in the south, but life eventually brought me up north. We had our first snow this season last night. I got up in the morning to look for rabbit tracks in the snow but didn't see any. That is probably my favorite early morning post snow activity.

We lost power during the night and again during the morning for a bit. A wet snow seems to make that happen more. Dry snow is fluffier and seems deeper but a wet snow will set on the trees weighing them down and breaking power lines.

I admit to dreading the first snowfall. Up until then, there's always a bit of hope for a sunny day. The next morning, though, it's a new season and a new reason to be grateful.

The best thing to do with snow, besides complain about it or pay someone else to shovel it? Put it in a bowl with blueberries. And a little sugar. Cream, if you have it.

There's no cream here. But I do have a bit of goat's milk, so that had to do. There is something about seeing a little bowl of whiteness turn completely blue that makes you laugh out loud.

The rest of the day was spent in chores. The regular ones, only this time trying to keep from getting wet and so colder. The goats are not big fans of the snow, but as long as it's not windy, they do okay. The chickens were fluffed up to keep out the chill. Most of them will wind up in the freezer soon, except for a couple that I may keep over the winter.

My biggest pride and joy is my meat freezer. There is something about knowing that I have enough meat (whether chicken, duck, pig or jackalope) to hold me over a cold winter. To know that each Sunday I have something good and homemade to cook helps me get through days that otherwise might seem foreboding.

The strange thing is, winter is actually brighter than fall. It gets dark earlier, but with the snow on the ground, it's much brighter. Even at night, you can see much better.

I try to remember that as I put on my barn boots and coat and head outside to put down new bedding or check the water bucket. Even the worst days can be the brightest.


Meriwether O'Connor