Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What's He Doing Now?

The old Farmall Cub got some action last week.
"What's he doing now?" Trust me, I ask this all the time. Usually not so much in winter, but we had a good stretch of springlike weather here, and Mason launched into action.

The project? A carport. Why now, after six years of mountain living? Well, Mason would say he'd been thinking about building one for years now because he's sick of picking pine needles off the car windshields before every trip to town, but if you ask me, it might have something to do with his new beloved truck.

Winter, southern style, is supposed to return this weekend, so it may be a while before the carport project sees any more action, but if there's news, you'll here it here first. Oh, unless you're a Facebook friend, in which case you've heard about the pine tree he had to take down. The 70-foot-tall tree that he said wasn't going to hit the trailer when it fell.

He couldn't have hit it more dead center if he had tried.
 What have I been up to, besides giving Mason a hard time? Distributing shredded leaves about the yard -- a poor gardener's mulch. And reading (this month's recommendation: "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"). And complaining about a certain politician.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Winter Doldrums

Semi-evergreen leaves of my new tree: a Mountain Gordlinia called Sweet Tea.

We struggle in winter. After the easy routine of breakfast, we falter. We walk from window to window, looking for inspiration for the day. We watch the birds pick through our seed offerings. We scan the woods for deer. We strain to see the sun, shuffle over to the battery gauge, then shuffle back to a window. I put down the smartphone after scanning every fresh recipe I find; Mason picks it up for every fresh Trump news he can rant about. We bump into one another nestling up to the woodstove. If it weren't for Nick demanding his twice-daily walks, we would likely go days without leaving the warmth of our little cabin.

We struggle in Winter, and it's hardly been winter here yet. Today we hit 61 degrees. It was a gray 61 degrees, but still, how can we complain? We mustered the energy to play outside for a few hours. I planted a new tree and replanted a mess of tangled irises that deer had yanked out of the dirt before realizing they weren't tasty. Mason changed the propane generator's spark plug; that thing eats spark plugs.

But after lunch, the sky turned grayer still, and we couldn't pull our ourselves outside again. We fell back into winter habits; we went upstairs to read. Then nap. Then procrastinate about going back outside.

We will regret it, because it's 60 degrees out. And the real cold is coming later this week. Snow may even fall. How far will we fall then? More books, more naps, more recipes and rants.  I'm not sure how much more we can take.

Last year, Spring started sometime in February. In between our shuffling, we keep that happy thought.