Thursday, November 3, 2011
Early morning snow
Yesterday morning I awoke early, just as the sun was coming up and before even the dogs rose. The baby was just barely awake too, only long enough for nursing, and then drifting off to dreamland again with a heavy sigh and smile on her face. All felt quiet, peaceful, and right with the world. I left her napping next to her daddy under the warm quilt, and quickly threw on my heavy coat and boots, heading out into the gently falling snow to do the morning farm chores. Somehow knowing not to disturb the baby, the dogs gingerly trotted out of the bedroom to follow behind me and press their noses against the window to view their awaiting winter wonderland. It had snowed all night as the farm slept. As quickly as I could open the door, they flew out with much excitement, dashing around, chasing each other, sticking their noses deep into the fluffy white stuff, and pouncing at snowballs I threw that landed before they could catch them in their mouths.
The goats soon reminded us that it was time to get to work. They were starving, or so it seemed, demanding our attention with their loud bleating just off in the distance. Somehow, even trudging through half a foot of snow carrying water and hay, I felt light on this morning. The goats greeted me at the gate, their path through the snow looking like mountain switchbacks as they tried to stay under the cover of the large evergreen trees along the fence line. They each got a pat on the head and and a piece of the pear core in my pocket. I scattered the hay in their favorite snacking places and noticed the small stream in their pasture hadn't frozen over yet. They would have plenty to drink today.
With the goats happily munching hay in their barn shed, I walked back to the second pasture, turning my attention to the chickens. Except for Tiny, the (huge) rooster, this would be the chickens' first winter. I opened the barn door and the flock came storming out in their usual fashion, seemingly unaware of the snow. They just as quickly stormed back in after feeling the cold on their bare feet, squawking and fluffing up their feathers at me as if I played some cruel joke on them. They soon forgave me though, as I brought them fresh warm water, topped off their feeders and doled out treats of leftover oatmeal bread from my kitchen. I gathered the two eggs left by the early layers, thanked them, and told the whole lot I would come back around noon to check on things.
The chores were finished swiftly without the baby in tow this time. Back inside, I fed the two panting pups, and thought about breakfast. I took a deep breath and smelled the fresh cold air that had followed us in. I looked at the corner where I wished I had a wood stove sitting. Next year, maybe. My dad always says, "you gotta have a dream," and so I make this my small dream on this beautiful snowy morn. I hear my small family stirring. Scooping up the sweet one, I open the curtains and show her the bright white day. Soon enough, the sunshine that already started peeking through the clouds would work its way out, turning the snow to slush. I was thankful we had nowhere to be but here.