A couple of years ago I bought some dark blue slippers to put on in chapel (a fair amount of rich soil, to say nothing of a variety of natural fertilizers, follows us everywhere we go). Lined in fleece, easy to slip on, soles able to withstand being worn outdoors for the days I forgot I had them on when I returned to work—when I finally had them “broken in” I grew to love them.
Needless to say it wasn’t long before they had molded so comfortably to my feet I began to wear them everywhere on purpose, especially in winter.
Now they are faded and falling seriously to ruin. But they have become my friends and the quintessential example of “comfortable as an old pair of slippers”. I plan to wear them till they fall off my feet. Literally. And that day will definitely been sooner rather than later.
I dread the idea of slipper-shopping, and the inevitable sticker-shock that accompanies the task. New slippers will look ever so much better, but that will just be the outside. No, I’m not looking forward to the day these old friends can’t make it one more step.
Holy One, let me be like these dear slippers: let me not fret over my outer cracks and wrinkles and fading skin, and may I become immensely soft, well-molded, supportive and forgiving where it counts.
Did you know that Amaryllis petals are sparkly? Hunh.
We’ve had two hefty snowstorms in about a week, and we are loving it! The animals and birds probably aren’t quite as happy as we are, so we have been helping out a little with some cracked corn and birdseed. [Click on picture to see a few more photos and a movie clip of the turkeys.]
Winter sunrises often have a particular lighting to them—subtle colors are the hallmark, and this was certainly true a couple of days ago when this was what I saw from the kitchen window. I’ve learned to grab the camera and shoot from the window; the light changes rapidly and it’s easy to miss capturing something wonderful while your’re trying to find the perfect place to stand outside.
A great lesson in present moment living.
So early … Bill put out a few taps yesterday since the weather (sunny, over 40º during the day and below 32º at night) was just perfect for the sap to make its trips from ground to the sky and back again.
With the climate changes we are already experiencing, it’s hard to decide when to begin. In just three years we’ve gone from late February and early March to early January. This may not be a stable change, but it is an indicator that weather is definitely changing. Syrup producers all over the northeast have noticed changes—not just in the past three years, but for the past twenty.
Like all things matter-based, maple sugaring may disappear from this area in time. In fact it will — we just don’t know when.
In the meantime we do our little part, sharing carefully and respectfully with the maple giants that surround us, and we are grateful.
We’ve had several improvements made around our property by Eagle Scouts working on their projects. The most recent is a lovely trail, widened and groomed, between our buildings and the pond in our woods. Today was a classic October afternoon, and we took a few moments to walk the trail and enjoy the new benches.
If you’re planning a visit here on the farm, be sure to include a walk in the woods and some reflective moments at the pond!
All this machinery can be deceiving in size. I’m not the tallest person around, but even so … this is one big bucket! I estimated the size of our hole in the ground at about 54′ x 20′ x 13′. Many, many trips back and forth to the “piles”, even using this sized bucket.
But there is a smile on my face, and that’s because the digging is done, the refilling is done, and the only work left is to reestablish the school grass and our landscaping (we have a lovely and simple new plan for this area: two white birches surrounded by wood chips and a few flowering plants below the window), and to rebuild the driveway and sidewalk.
All things considered, this could have been a lot worse. Could have been much better, too, but still we try to see at least some gift in whatever comes our way.
Besides, plopping down in a big old bucket was kind of fun.