Tuesday, February 19, 2019

In the Deep Midwinter

Some winters are long. The measurement of the days extend beyond solstice to equinox. The season is marked on the calendar at "first snow" and ends with" road graded". In between these two points I walk about a quarter mile from where my car is parked in the winter to my front door. This year winter began in November.  First snow was enough to make the probability of driving out without being stuck in the drive low. Thus, exposing my son to a list of expletives I would rather he did not learn from his mother.

And the snow just kept coming...

I would not say that we have had any extreme blow outs of snow. There has yet to be a storm that has dumped more than about a foot and half of snow. It is more the frequency of snow, at least once a week we have had measurable snow, that has gummed up the morning commute or canceled the day of school. It has been just enough snow to make the walk out in the morning feel more like a trudge, a well worn path challenged to remain defined. Sorta like life, I guess.

Winter becomes a time of  hibernation. I go to work, I come home. I read. I knit. I load up the wood box. I enjoy a little James Bond in Monaco. Who doesn't dream of playing the Roulette Wheel with Sean Connery? Shaken not stirred. Do these diamonds go with these mittens? Just give me a fancy evening gown to go along with my muck boots. Just don't ask me to leave the house.

There is this persistent thought that runs through my head this time of year. Will I be able to live here when I am eighty? I am 52. I look at the life I live here as contributing to my over all health. Pulling my groceries in on a sled, breaking trail in my snow shoes, are all resistant training to prevent osteoporosis. When the divorced occurred I was grateful for the house because it was going to feed us and the mortgage was cheaper than any rent I could afford in a neighborhood with sidewalks. This is still the case.

But this is another truth of living on the little plot of land, a full moon, big and bright and silent stretches the shadows of the trees across untrodden stretches of fresh snow and it is beautiful.

Saturday, February 16, 2019


According to the date of my last post it has been a few years since I have checked in here. Life has moved forward, as it does.

I have decided to revive this dusty record of this quiet life because I have exciting news to share. I have been accecpted into Goddard College in Vermont to finish my bachelors degree in creative writing.

But let's catch up...

The last time this blog was active I was recently divorced and struggling to balance enough work with enough money, with enough time to grow my garden.  I wanted to be true to the ideal of living close to the land even if I wasn't sure I could.  Divorce stinks but the lessons gleaned from one, the chance to know oneself better is a reward, even if I did not know it at the time.

I am still living on my seven acres at the end of a two mile dirt road in Central Maine. I still live in the little berm house with the field stone hearth, leaky roof, and ramshackle out buildings. I work now as the assistant manager of a local indie bookstore. I side gig as a farm sitter and take care of all sorts of farm animals. I can milk a cow. Always a valuable skill.  I live with my 12 year old son who is successful at school, loves acting in local theater, plays the stand up bass by sitting on a stool. I am just a little (okay, hugely) proud of him.

I still grow my food. This is always an important activity for me, partly for the resilience it provides for my life and partly for the peace of the work itself. I still knit. I read a lot and I write a lot.

So I have decided to revive this blog to serve as a record of my journey through school as a working single mom who homesteads. My program at school is a low residency program that begins the last week of March into April. In the time in between now and then I hope to start the gardening year with a seed order. I'd like to tap some trees to boil some sap. I am finishing a sweater to bring to residency with me. I am ordering chicks. And I am doing some work on the house. I am reading some great books.

Thanks for joining me on this jouney.