2017 marks our 7th winter in Kentucky.
Each year has brought a different weather pattern, from that first chilly season with frequent light wet snows, other January days balmy enough that daffodils foolishly pushed their heads out of the sheltering earth only to be frost-nipped in February. At our first address we harvested carrots and kale from the garden one January. More recent winters have brought days of below freezing temperatures and blizzards of snow.
This year the weather over the holidays was capricious--warm, balmy, rainy, with several midnight thunderstorms.
Monday morning was grey, but no rain was falling. The air was not balmy, and I pulled on a heavy old jacket and my boots to go out.
I carried veg scraps to the goats, leaving my bucket near the fence to be collected on the way back up the lane.
I decided to see how the creek had fared with the recent rainfall. The long rainless autumn had left the creek bed dry for many weeks.
The new owner of our fields across the road was working in the barn, his young daughters playing underfoot.
I stopped to visit for a few minutes, interested in his ambitious plans to return the crop land to grass, to put up a series of gates and fences so that he can run cattle.
By the time I struck off toward the creek the air was thick with mist that caught in my hair and left a bloom of dampness on my face.
I walked the length of the nearest field along the replenished creek, but turned back when the mist threatened to become rain.
Purple sage has flourished in the herb garden, unshriven by frost.
Lavender billows over the walk, fresh new growth visible at the base of the plants.
A dianthus near the side steps is wearing tight cold buds.
Jim, in shirtsleeves, moved his latest restored tractor out of the shop to make room for another.
Tuesday morning he announced a number of errands: a large tractor part to be dropped at a machine/repair shop, paint for the latest restoration, bits and pieces needed in the shop.
I was invited to go along.
The paint purchase took us nearly to Campbellsville and I suggested a ramble through Peddler's Mall, a large indoor flea market.
We pottered about for nearly an hour.
Jim found some shelving; I brought home another quilt rack--another piece on my list of items to sand down and refinish.
Lunch in town and home to an afternoon going dark at 3:30!
Wednesday morning was clear and decidedly colder.
Daughter Gina arrived mid-morning for an outing we've had to postpone while she worked a staggering amount of over-time during the holidays.
We had a brief tussle over who was to be the driver [neither of us feels quite secure with the driving style of the other.]
In the end I conceded that she could drive and we headed to the South Fork community of Mennonite shops. We took our time considering the items available at the discount food store, staggering out with a load of groceries and such.
On to the whole foods market several miles up the winding road, and almost home, a look around at the Beachy Amish up on the ridge.
Gina's plan was to treat us to lunch at the Bread of Life Cafe.
Jim was the driver for this outing!
When we came out of the restaurant we were struck with a cold wind, although the sun was still shining.
Temperatures dropped overnight and we woke in a grey late dawn to flurries of snow.
I went to bed last evening firmly telling myself that I was not coming down with a head cold.
So much for positive thinking!
I have snuffled through the day, a box of tissues at hand, washing my hands repeatedly, drinking herbal tea.
I made soup, which we ate in the warm kitchen while wooly grey dusk crept up the valley.
Snowflakes caught in a sprawl of lemon thyme look like tiny blossoms.
Jim keeps a fire in his workshop. I tend the fire in the big black kitchen range.
I gloat over the laden pantry shelves and the full-to-the-brim chest freezer in the washroom.
The cats sprawl on the rug in front of the fire, waking to tear through the house, up and down the staircase, heralding the wind and the changing temperatures.
As winter settles in, my creativity flourishes.
I've cleared a lengthy and absorbing genealogy project from my desk. I am ready to pull out folders with older notes, to update, to sort names and dates into readable order.
My stash of fabric, neglected while we undertook the renovation of two houses, is calling to me, and I've had a rootle in bins, rediscovering colors and patterns, rounding up tools.
That however, is a post for another day!