This weekend we are leaving the farm for three full weeks of road trip. Our dear friends Lindsay and Nick are newly arrived to Vermont and we are heavily exploiting their lack of home into a farm-sitting gig. You really must love friends who are willing to stay in your two-room house and cater to your neurotic cats. You must love them more that they will get up in freezing temperatures to feed your pigs and hay your sheep and cows and keep the chickens safe from the winter fox.
While they tend to the farm's fires we are headed South for warmer pastures. We have a long list of friends and farmers and family on the Eastern seaboard to check up on having secluded ourselves in Vermont since we moved here last spring. I also carry the not-so-hidden agenda of wanting to be warm-er for just a few days. So, we are trekking all the way down to North Carolina to visit our old farm and see Brent and Melissa in Raleigh. I've been checking daily the forecast of Raleigh, and Maryland, and New York and even Boston to drool over the (slightly) warmer temperatures. My last few posts have heavily featured photos from the spring and summer. It doesn't take an advanced degree in psychology to determine I am making difficult effort of adjusting to the Vermont winter.
I am having a hard time. I think most people would. It is quite hard to go from the mild winters of North Carolina and California to the full blown 5-month winter of Vermont. Even with smatterings of winter months in Massachusetts and the French Alps between. I have faith in it getting easier. When we come back we still have a solid two months of snow and freeze and will have officially run out of favors to ask of farm-sitting friends and neighbors. This year I need a three-week break. Next year I am naive enough to think I can cut it down to two. The following will just be a one week getaway and before I am forced into a no-holiday winter global warming should have caught herself up to Vermont and there will scarcely be a cold front to flee from. ---I speak in jest, I pray this doesn't happen as quickly as they fear it will.
So, we will be writing in from the road in between good sleep-ins and meals with old friends. We aren't taking the VW bus. Despite my well argued platform of why to drive it, Nick's better judgement prevailed. He rambled on about no heat, poor mileage, getting robbed in Brooklyn (an ever present Vermont-mouse fear) and lack of snow tires and 4x drive. So we are driving the ever practical and rather boring Golf. We are only taking Rudy for animal company and I have promised to try not to adopt any piglets when we get to Elizabeth's farm. I can only try. Most of these circumstances fall beyond my control.
So, I wish good thoughts of consecutive weeks of 25°F bluebird days for Nick and Lindsay. It gives me constant anxiety to think of them dealing with animals in blizzard, or animals in ice, or animals in muddy melt, or in rain or in arctic winds. They are two wonderfully capable farmers but all I want is for this to be as pleasant a welcome-to-Vermont-winter for them as the weather gods can manage.
Meanwhile, you will find me running in shame from the aforementioned Vermont winter. Somewhere between here and Raleigh, N.C. with my tail between my legs.