As the old-timers might say, "I had a feeling in my bones" that this winter was going to be a cold one.
Earlier this week, the temperatures plummeted, and January started off with a chilling blast. With temperatures at -15 and wind chills at -40 degrees, it's certainly been a time to remember. The ancient maples surrounding our 150-year old farmhouse creaked and complained as the cold, ferocious wind howled, and snow drifts piled up in front of every door to be found.
And as someone who is always cold (I might thaw out a bit at the 4th of July picnic!) I did my fair share of complaining as well. This weather was a true test, and while going outside, style was not important. Layer-upon-layer of sweaters, scarves, gloves, socks, and long-johns could be found under the warmest coats we could pull from the closet.
The bundling-up process went on several times a day as we went out to the barns to check on animals, refill water and feed bowls, and make sure all was well. Our goat kids sported "goat coats" to keep them extra cozy, while chickens were fed bowls of warm mash and oatmeal.
Indoors, we kept a blazing fire going, while mugs of homemade cocoa were passed around, chili bubbled away on the stove, and bread baked in the oven. We watched movies, played games, roasted marshmallows and made s'mores.
Today we woke up to more snow, but a much gentler wind was blowing through the pines. As I watched the boughs swaying, I thought about the year that has just passed. We have been richly blessed by family, friends, and experiences. Even the Polar Vortex brought us closer together as we cared for animals and each other...each experience we have helps us to grow.
And so with the Polar winds behind us, and plenty of winter still yet ahead, it's with renewed enthusiasm that we look forward to the dawn of a new year!