Monday, February 11, 2019

The Default Mode is Rain

The view at noon Monday, taken through a camper window.

Trees, grey and bare, grey rain, tangled fallen branches, all a study in grey.


On Saturday morning I slipped out of bed at the importunate insistence of several cats who felt the call of the outdoors.
The first pale hints of morning were evident in the eastern sky as I raised the shade on the small window near my nest of blankets and pillows. It felt too early in the day to pull on yesterday's jeans and paint-stained sweatshirt; Jim was sleeping and likely wouldn't appreciate me rattling about.

On a whim, I made myself comfortable, fleece throws snuggled around my shoulders, pillows propped to give me a good view out the window. Teasel and Chester-cat, having more sense than to follow their friends into the pre-dawn chill, resettled themselves, substantial rounds of warm fur near my feet.
The skyline above the rise of the land that comprises our eastern boundary was a study in soft hues of dove grey, pearl, smokey white.
While I watched, thin stripes of pale saffron threaded through the shifting veils of grey.
Three large birds, cranes perhaps, or Canada geese, beat their way above the field, wings moving in steady silent strength, dark silhouettes back-lit by the deepening gold of dawn.

Wriggling free of my feline foot-warmers, I pulled on a bag-lady assortment of leggings, turtleneck  and wooly socks, topped with my long down-filled robe; I poked my feet into the handiest pair of shoes and picked up my camera.
Outside the morning air struck with a cold bite. The crunch of my shoes on frost covered gravel brought Willis-the-Cat to the half open door of the shed, mouth gaping in a pink yawn, but clearly willing to undertake his usual escort duties.
Huddled in my inadequate layers of clothing, I picked my way up the lane, far enough to record the promise of a day that might bring sunshine instead of monotonous rain.

The house in progress, looming amidst piles of displaced red earth, the skeletal shapes of staging and a  ladder propped near the front porch, even the white chunks of PVC lying about like the dismembered bones of some prehistoric giant, all faded in relation to the 'new every morning' grandeur of sunrise.












Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Paint


Ten days of grueling, messy work, by the men, and the main floor of the house was ready for paint.
Jim announced that Howard and I should go to Lowes Home Improvement in Campbellsville and purchase 2 five gallon buckets each of primer and wall paint.
For months on each trip to Lowes I have added paint sample cards to my stash, spreading them out from time to time to compare the minute differences in shades of 'off-white.'


There are those who find 'off-white' totally boring. I prefer a neutral background--restful, non-demanding--which allows for what the decorating industry currently refers to as 'pops of color' supplied by my quilts, curtains and collectibles.
I narrowed my choices to three: 'Thistle Seed;' Quail's Egg;' 'Muslin Wrap.'  [Ever wonder who dreams up the exotic names for paint colors?]
I chose 'Muslin Wrap'--a warm cream that doesn't present as 'yellow.'
The open living area/great room will have wainscoting; the two main floor bedrooms will have chair rail with a different color paint below.


I pondered the options.  My color preferences in quilt and drapery  fabrics, as well as paint for refinished wooden pieces, have long been the 'Early American' shades of faded dark red, old gold, grey-green.  Bright 'hot' colors set my teeth on edge, pastels don't inspire.
I dithered between a warm golden yellow [Early Morning]  a color labeled 'Mystic Mocha' [used in several of the bedrooms at the farmhouse] and a sage green [Dried Sage.]
I stood in the bedrooms at different times of day, considering what the effect would be. 



Typically, the trip to buy paint was announced suddenly during breakfast on Thursday.
["If you want paint for those bedrooms, we're going to Russell Springs in half an hour!"]
I hauled my folder of paint samples from the cupboard, hastily shuffling out the favorites.



My fingers paused on a sample I have used as an 'accent wall' both at the Amish farmhouse and the Bedford stone house which we refurbished and soon sold.
'Hand-Loomed Scarlet,' a faded 'antique' red which makes a statement without screaming.

I applied the first coat to the north-west bedroom yesterday, working around the men who are now laying down floors.
If you've worked with paint, you know that reds are considered 'transparent' colors. It takes several coats applied to achieve coverage


These trim pieces were purchased already primed. 
I have applied two coats of semi-gloss 'Swiss Coffee.'
Yesterday I was directed to a work space set up in the back area of the basement, and instructed to paint a stack of narrow molding which Howard had already primed and sanded.
The boards were laid out on a trestle constructed of two folding sawhorses and 2 x 4's. I began painting but wasn't satisfied with the lighting that had been hung in the stairwell. 
[The electrical inspector is dragging his feet on the final permit needed to 'turn on' the permanent electrical service.]
I decided that working from the opposite end of the trestle would provide better light on the length of the molding strips.
I had finished about 3/4 of the work, carefully moving each painted strip to the far end of the 2x4's when the whole set up went down with a crash. The painted strips clattered to the floor in disarray; the paint cup and brush overturned splattering paint in dripping streams.
I bellowed in outrage and dismay--provoked to using a scatological term.
Jim and Howard pounded down the stairs!
Howard snatched up the overturned paint container and brush, while Jim righted the overturned sawhorses.
I was treated to exasperated queries: 'Why on earth were you working from that side?'  
'Couldn't you see that you were over-balancing the supports by loading the finished pieces on that end?'
No, I didn't see that or of course I wouldn't have done it!

I suggested that I should have been warned not to work from 'that side' of the set up.

'We didn't tell you because anyone in their right mind should have known what would happen!'

Howard, in spite of dire mutterings, was quickly brushing down the paint which had been flung on my finished work. I attempted to dip up puddles of paint which had landed on the floor, furiously lamenting the waste of paint and the spoiling of my careful work. 
Forcing a calm which I didn't feel, I took another brush and subsided, smoothing out drips, rearranging finished strips. 
With that accomplished, I excused myself from working on the remaining lengths of molding. 
I needed to settle my feathers and decided that folding clean laundry might provide a soothing interlude.
It has been suggested that I appear and continue with applying hand-loomed scarlet paint to the bedroom walls.
I shall bundle up against the windy walk up the lane, hoping for a stint of painting without drama.


The resident experts on all things construction and paint related.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Chance Encounters

     

The 'stilts' leaning near the wall have exceeded Howard's expectations in facilitating the finishing of drywall.
He discovered them on a local craigslist post and made arrangements to collect them.
The owners gave him their address in the next town which he entered into the GPS app on his phone.
I was invited to ride along, as did Jim and of course, Howard's dogs.

The precise directions delivered in the cultured tones of 'Siri' took us along familiar routes and then directed a left hand turning onto a side road. This was quickly followed by another turn onto a narrow one lane track. Although a bit unexpected, such back roads aren't uncommon here.

The track followed the bends of a steep-banked creek;  clear brown water danced and dappled in the sunlight which pierced the tangle of bare branches overhead.
The road crossed the creek bed at several points, again not uncommon in rural Kentucky.
I was ensconced in the back seat on the side where I had a good view of the creek bank.  I remarked that the route seemed an unlikely one, but the men were jovial.
"Can't back up, no place to turn around, so on we go, " replied Howard the driver.

The track ran out at last onto a more civilized road; Siri guided us across a narrow bridge and into the back yard of a simple white farmhouse.
A slender grey-bearded man was loading items into the back of a pickup; a tall woman emerged from the garage, faded tawny hair cascading below her shoulders. Around them danced a throng of barking dogs, whose tails wagged in greeting.
Katy and Dixie answered them adding to the canine cacophony. 
Jim and Howard descended from the truck, hands reaching to pat and reassure the dogs
.

Whenever I'm invited along on errands I have either a book or a pile of magazines to occupy me during what can become extended waiting.
Katy and Dixie subsided and I settled back, enjoying the antics of the resident dogs.

There were four of them; an elderly Golden Retriever, shaggy and white muzzled; a busy black lab; a comical small caramel-colored creature of indeterminate ancestry.  The 4th dog was black with white on his chest and missing one front leg. He lurched gamely about in the milling throng. Every few moments the man stopped his work to speak to the dogs, pat the nearest head.

I sat in the sun, turning the pages of a magazine, absorbed in the photos detailing the renovation of a country home.
After a time I wondered what was taking so long. Howard and the slender man were conversing, Jim and the tall woman were out of sight.  Immersed again in my magazine, I didn't notice Jim approaching the truck and was startled when he tapped on the window.
'You have to come in and see this house!'
I landed on the spongy ground beside him, automatically putting out a hand to the exuberant young dog.
'Why do I need to go in?'
'You'll see.'
The woman was waiting at the back door.  She had smoothly chiseled features, fine lines at the corners of eyes and mouth, stood tall in faded jeans and a warm quilted jacket.
A short entry hall led into the main house.
I looked about appreciatively.
Dark pine floors, walls painted the color of bleached linen.
Upholstery, cushions, accessories, all mirrored the rooms in my favorite magazines.
I admired a reproduction primitive hutch.
'My ex-husband made that, made most of the furniture.  I'm putting the house on the market, fully furnished.' A tinge of bitterness crept into the quiet New England voice. 'Twenty eight years. I'm not taking anything with me as a reminder.'
We finished the tour of the house making neutral conversation: houses, the work of building and restoration, mentioned the New England museums where our mutual love of early American houses and furniture had been nurtured.

We stood outside, the five of us, the four dogs, in the bright sun, in the rising wind.
There was in that random meeting a sense of fleeting recognition. 
I patted the dogs again, the gallant three legged chap, the little bouncing minx.
The men shook hands, I thanked the woman for showing us her house. 
The gentleman's eyes were kind beneath the blue bandana that covered his hair against the dust of his tasks. Glancing from me to the dogs, he laid his hand lightly on my shoulder as he said goodbye, acknowledging, I think, the kinship between all those who love animals and country places.

We've spoken several times, Jim and I, of that farmhouse with its gracious, somehow familiar rooms.
Had it been on the market 6 months ago would we have offered on it, or would we have seen the folly of taking on [again!] a five bedroom house, spaces so much larger than we need?
I've thought of the big kitchen, warmed by a wood-burning range. No central heat or air, so much to keep and maintain. Not far away if one drives the correct roads, but away from the neighborhood where we chose to remain and build this one last home.
I wonder who will live there--who will cherish the white farmhouse of many rooms so charmingly styled by other hands.




















Monday, January 7, 2019

Mornings and Evenings


It is still dark on these winter mornings when I lever myself cautiously out of bed, wary of thumping my head on the rim of cupboards which jut over the head of the bed. I feel for my slippers in the narrow space between bed and adjoining wall, my bare foot encountering the fur of Charlie-cat who has taken to sleeping along-side the bed. 
Negotiating the step down into the tiny hallway--toilet cubicle on one side, shower on the other, I hear muffled thuds as cats decant from the foot of the bed to follow me into the kitchenette.

Closing the sliding door, I fumble for the handiest light switch, then pick my way across the camper's living space to push up the shades on the east facing window.
Jim leaves a work light on in our house-in-progress, a few hundred yards up the rise of the lane; the faint yellow glow of the lamp through early morning murk is the only break in the darkness at 7 a.m. Eastern Time. 
I open the door to let out the cats who have spent the night with us, take kibble to the two 'barn cats, Willis and Sally, who are waiting for their breakfast.
Jim emerges when the aroma of coffee perking on the gas stove becomes irresistible. 
He opens more of the folding blinds, settles at his desk which faces an east window.
If the slow dawning of the day shows the faintest blush of pink, I go out, slipper-footed, camera in hand.  In this mid-winter of grey and bleak weather any morning which hints at sunshine deserves to be recorded.


Sunday morning had promise. The damp of the lane bit through my slippers as I stood below the house watching the sky.  Heaps of displaced soil loomed around me, my zoom lens moved the hedgerow trees closer, foreshortening the field beyond the house site.


A retinue of felines trailed behind me as I turned and trudged back toward our winter encampment; the shed built by former owners, our large camper, Howard's smaller one, both sited to take advantage of the electrical and septic systems in place when we purchased the property.


By mid-morning the day had gained a warmth suggestive of springtime.


I found that once my housekeeping tasks were done I needed to be outdoors.
I marveled at the deep blue of the sky, the fleeciness of white clouds, the sharp tracery of branches. 


I aimed the camera at treetops, dizzying views.


Is it my imagination, a trick of light, or do these branches show a hopeful hint of renewed life to come?


The land drops steeply in the northeast corner. Birds busy themselves in the tangle of shrubbery and trees which straggle down the ravine.


Sundown came with a palette of apricot, amber, rose and gold, melting against darkening blue.

 

The sun slid behind the ridge in a final blaze of peach and fiery coral against a backdrop of dusky lavender and mauve. 
[My mind struggles at such moments to define the shifting panorama of color and light.]



Monday's sunrise was nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Color exploded into the eastern sky, wrapped around the entire horizon, spreading hot pink, coral, rose and lavender high above the tree tops.


The vibrant colors washed along the southern tree line, seeped into the western sky, surrounding us in vivid color before seguing into a brilliant blue which rivaled that of the preceding day.

We had errands to do and rode through the morning of climbing sun and scudding white clouds. Contrails sketched intersecting lines which disappeared in the distance. The whole landscape seemed dominated by the enormous bright sky.

I had to drive into town after lunch.  The road winds south by southwest, into the sun at that hour.  The temperature stood at 66 F. I pulled down the sun visor against the glare of brightness.
A wind had come up pushing cloud formations in crumbs and shreds, streaks and billows.
As I neared town I noticed an edge of grey bleeding upwards into the expanse of blue. Walking around the town square to the bank, the rising wind whipped my hair.

By the time I headed home the brilliance of the day had dwindled to piled masses of cloud in every shade of grey.  Fine needles of rain spotted the windshield, never enough to turn on the wipers, but enough to warn that we have enjoyed our two days of sun. Time again to be enveloped in the pale skies of winter.

 
Tonight's dusk brought no rich shades of rose or gold.
Smokey grey clouds curled along the horizon.


Evening drew in. The cats, usually reluctant to come inside, were quick to crowd through the door at Jim's heels. 
The night is quiet with only an occasional riff of wind, a light spatter of rain against the camper windows.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Day In The Morning



A glowing Christmas Eve sunset didn't fulfill the promise of a sunny morning.


We arose a bit later than usual in deference to the day, to view a blue-grey sky quickly covered in pearly clouds.
It seemed the day would pass in the quiet somber hues that have been our company for many weeks.


At noon the sun came out. It is tentative sunshine, sometimes nearly obscured by cottony clouds.


The lane between our camper/caravans and the new house.
Even a partially sunny day needs to be recorded and appreciated.



Given our cramped quarters and tiny kitchenette, I have been relieved of holiday cooking this year.
No fruit pies or dinner rolls. 
The kitchen is fitted with an 18 inch propane 'cooker'. There are 4 burners, so tightly spaced that it is a juggle to manage even 3 pans. The bitty oven is intimidating; I've not attempted to use it.
My contributions to this year's Christmas feast [being ably prepared and hosted by daughter and SIL] are a 'fluffy' fruited jello salad, concocted yesterday, and the above dessert, 'Oreo Delight Pudding' aka 'Dirt Pudding' [for the crumbled cookie topping.]
It contains enough decadently fattening ingredients to be appealing: Oreo cookies, cream cheese, chocolate pudding, Cool Whip.


Jim continued with house siding yesterday.



Lower level entrance with a covered area that will likely be quite utilitarian.


Not wanting to waste mild temperatures and sunshine, Jim has continued this morning.
It is encouraging to see the house looking more 'finished' outside. A carport will be constructed alongside this entrance.
Interior work is now waiting on the man who is meant to apply foam insulation in parts of the house. 
Then drywall and painting can be done.

There's not been much I can do to help.
I have been responsible for applying the stain to much of the siding--the boards laid out on trestles in the house and the stain rolled on.  My right shoulder has definitely registered this contribution.
Beyond that, I keep the men stoked with [very] simple hearty food, the laundry done.

Housekeeping in the camper is at an untidy minimum with half a dozen cats in and out, coats and boots with no proper place to stow them, various household items shuffled from one spot to another.
At that, I'm reminded that the camper offers a warm, dry, temporary abode, surely far more comfortable than some.

I have moments of impatience for a 'real' house--such as when I slam my head one more time on the overhanging cupboard ledge while making up the bed. 
Meanwhile I can appreciate the focused progress that continues at the hands of two good builders.

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Changing Faces Of A Neighborhood




The above link was shared by blog friend Mundi.

When we left our native Vermont in 1998, there was no Amish presence in the state. 
Driving through rural Pennsylvania and Ohio decades ago we noted immaculate Amish farms, signs posted to alert drivers that the roads were shared by horse and buggy traffic. It was something of a novelty to pass a field where a span of work horses pulled a plow or to point out distinctively Amish clothing billowing on a washing line.

When we traveled to Kentucky in late winter of 2010 in search of a new home, we were shown a number of Amish properties.
We learned that two Amish communities existed within the county, but that a general exodus of families had begun a few years earlier.
We became acquainted with some of our Amish neighbors who lived near our first Kentucky home.
Most of the Amish men heading these families worked as day laborers in local sawmills or similar semi-skilled occupations.
The women stayed at home, caring for their large flocks of children, tending chickens, milking a cow--if they had one--sewing the family clothing on treadle sewing machines, and somehow, in their 'spare time' creating traditional quilts.
They were decent and interesting neighbors, but we soon learned that they were not shy in requesting our services as 'drivers.'  While a number of retirees offered 'for hire' taxi service, shuttling children to the local Amish school, or conveying the women, toddlers in tow, to do their grocery shopping, it wasn't a convenience we intended to furnish on demand.

The exchange of our first property for the Amish farm brought us into contact with the remnant of a far more prosperous Amish community.
We learned that many of the Old Order families who had been in residence there for decades had already departed and that more would soon disperse.
Little more than a year ago the community had dwindled to a point that the remaining households were being urged to relocate.

Amish farm and workshop at dusk.

Amish families tend to relocate in groups. Within a generation intermarriage creates a large extended tribe, children are often  'double cousins,' the result of a family of sons finding brides in a nearby household where daughters predominated.
Thus, one reason for periodic relocation is the need to marry outside the immediate local bloodlines.

Other reasons have a darker cause.
Each community that lives and worships as a group is ruled by a local 'bishop.'
The traditions for living as Old Order Amish are many and stringent, many of them seeming contradictory to our 'English' reasoning.
'Plain' living in the most local community has dictated the use of outhouses or privies;  bathing is conducted by means of a primitive 'shower' usually rigged in a corner of the 'washroom' space where laundry is done.
In the community at the other end of the county it was permissible to have an indoor flush toilet and a bathtub--if the means for running hot water could be contoggled without the use of electricity.

If an Amish family purchased an 'English' house they were allowed to make use of the existing amenities for a year before being required to shut off the electric and revert to a simpler lifestyle.

A point of contention several winters ago became disruptive when some of the younger men replaced their traditional straw hats with woolen 'toboggan caps' during a particularly cold spell.
The bishop decreed that they 'didn't look Amish enough' and ordered them to wear the straw hats on top of the warmer head gear! 
Other infractions might include slyly acquiring a cell phone, a transistor radio. 

Each group of 'plain people'--the Old Order, the Beachy Amish, the Mennonites--have their [to us] rigid interpretation of what constitutes a proper tradition, and the breaking of rules is a serious matter requiring rebuke and discipline.
Apparently if a family feels that they have been singled out for a scolding while other families are perhaps doing the same, this can lead to several households packing up and moving to another community.

The proprietor of the local cafe and store lives with his family in a house purchased from a departing Amish family.  As we did with our Amish farm, he installed electricity and modern plumbing--the reverse process followed by the Amish who must strip an English house of such 'worldly' fixtures.

In our nearly 5 years in this neighborhood we've witnessed the conversion of several young Amish families who have 'gone English.'  This is a difficult transition as they are then 'shunned' by the Amish community, even by their own parents. Having a 'modern' lifestyle, a vehicle, being able to choose ordinary clothing, is a heady liberation, but there is also loneliness, the need to forge new friendships, to seek fresh worship alternatives, to find ways of interacting with non-Amish neighbors.
One young couple whom we know made the transition to English, reverted to Amish, then again left the familiar fold.

Local Amish schoolhouse with the wood fire stoked for the night.

During the past year, we heard cautious speculation that new families would be joining the local Amish community. The married daughter of one of the established patriarchs returned with her husband and several young children. Their home is an 'English' one that had been on the market since before we sought a property in 2010. 
A woman whose prosperous parents and younger married sister left the community several years ago has returned with her husband and teen-aged children, buying and renovating one of the few Amish built houses still available.  Lena's younger brother recently purchased a handsome English house and has already constructed a large white barn and workshop.  Her husband's brother has transferred his household here from the now defunct community at the other end of the county. 

In the waning days of autumn we noticed a gathering of Amish men working to cut grass, mow weeds and refurbish a long empty small house situated just along from the store.  A wash line appeared, blooming with blue shirts and trousers in descending sizes, wood smoke belched from a chimney; small boys have become a frequent sight, pulling a grocery laden wagon [rather dangerously] down the road between store and home
Several times recently, driving home from town in the evening, we have come upon groups of Amish young people out walking--have wished that they would carry a lantern or flashlight. 
There are fresh faces at the store--several pretty teenage girls who smile shyly, younger men who shoulder a bag of horse or chicken feed to tote home.
There are more buggies on the road, frequently a horse tethered to the hitching post outside the store while the owner does her shopping.

Alfred, the store owner, is in a place to hear the latest news from the Amish community.  He tells us that several of the 'new' families are the younger generation who were raised here. Others are older couples who, sensing a more gracious atmosphere, have chosen to return.
The man who has served, perhaps somewhat reluctantly, as local bishop, has relinquished that post to the elder who served as bishop previously.
Certain rules may be modified, the community may prosper again.

As Alfred puts it, 'these are some of the finer people who are returning.'
Amish men have a degree of contact with the world; their work allows them some travel.  They hire 'drivers' to take them on a day's outing--fishing, stopping at a cafe to buy a snack, going out and about to transact banking or other business.
The women are mostly dependent on each other for social outings. They may organize a quilting bee or gather to share the work of canning. They show up with brooms and mops to help a new family settle in, bringing food to share.

For the women, there is the anticipation of  Sunday gatherings of worship and fellowship, now enlivened by the 'new' but likely related households.
As Alfred puts it--we may not understand all their ways or agree with their traditions, but the Amish families tend to be good neighbors, ready to help when needed, otherwise minding their own business.
Given names in the inter-related Amish families follow a pattern that is bewildering to me; many of the names have biblical overtones:  Mary, Anna, Elizabeth, Hannah, Rebecca. Less frequently one meets a Delilah, Naomi, Lovina. 
 Men are called Jacob, Levi, Joseph, Menno, Mose, Eli, Daniel, Noah, Andrew.
Eli's wife, Mary, is a sister to Anna--who is married to Eli's brother Mose. 
When speaking of a particular Amish person it is becoming increasingly necessary to recite details of lineage, as surnames are also common. Several of the young women have married without the need to change their surname, "Miller."
I wonder if we will learn to assign correct names to the new faces. More likely we will be using simpler designations: 'Dan' who had the dog that whirled dementedly at the edge of the road when a car approached--here now from the community at the other end of the county; '
Rebecca' who is the daughter of Jacob and Mrs. Mary, who has a younger sister, Mary, a cousin Mary.
Slowly, perhaps some of the bearded visages beneath the straw hats will resolve into the various patriarchs, the faces framed by 'head coverings' will be sorted into family households.

For a time I think we'll be identifying our new neighbors as 'the ones who are building a sawmill' or the 'short gentleman who drives the pony cart, 'the pretty girl with red hair.'
In the meantime, we watch the revival of the neighborhood with interest.




Bleak Mid-Winter



I didn't take photos on this grey and dismal day, but this one from earlier in the month portrays our solstice weather.
After two days of relative warmth and sunshine, the weather deteriorated again on Thursday.
By bedtime a drizzle of rain had increased to a steady drumming on the metal roof of the camper. 
Jim, who finds this a snug and cozy situation, went early to bed.
When I joined him more than an hour later, he and several cats had appropriated most of the bed!

I had errands this morning; 3 gallons of Cabots stain to pick up at a hardware store in the next county, then a drive along the back way into town to the chiropractor. 
After, I poked through items on offer at the Goodwill store and braved Wal Mart for a few necessities, each stop resulting in a bit more moisture collecting on jacket and hair.
There was little traffic on the road coming home.

I stopped at the house to lug in the pails of stain, make admiring noises regarding the work of the day.
At the camper I was greeted by Willis the Cat, who poked his head round the shed door, then stepped daintily through wet leaves and gravel to escort me while I brought in groceries.

On this longest of dark evenings the camper seems especially confining--cluttered, untidy.
Still, I have sat to read with a mug of tea, bolstered about with the cats who are sharing my chair.
I have made soup for tomorrow--cream of butternut squash.

The increase of daylight will be slow, mere increments, scarcely noticeable for several weeks.
We live now in a part of the country where winter is more about freezing rain, sometimes sleet, with only an occasional snow of any account.
Accustomed for years to heavy snow, blizzards, temperatures hovering below zero F. we sometimes are amused at the school closings and cancellations here at the first dusting of snow.
Narrow winding roads, a landscape of steep ridges and deep ravines doubtless encourage caution.

In retirement we are blessed with the choice to postpone errands, to stay busy at home.
We may grumble a bit during a run of bleak wet days, but the sun does return!