2.08.2015

The Lunacy of February


February is my least favorite month. Fortunate then, for its 28 days. 30, or worse 31 and I would have left Vermont after that first winter. It snows every day in February. A law passed by the state legislature in 1892 requires it so. Coupled with a bone chilling cold and an utter lack of sun we spend hours looking at photos of summer wondering at the possibility.

Snow at this point in our winter has lost all novelty. Oh, its snowing says the mistress of the house as she descends in her pajamas that were yesterday's clothes. Not, Oh! the exclamation when one has found a forgotten stash of Christmas chocolate. Rather, Oh, the resignation when your mate suggests cuddling up to The Walking Dead instead of The Good Wife.

Some afternoons, after shepherding my son from house to car to co-op to car to house the guilt of his winter imprisonment overcomes. There is a break in the snow.  I stuff his chunky appendages into tubes of wool and tunnels of down. I wedge the hand-me-down-woolen blob that was once my son into his sled and pile ratty blankets reserved for this purpose all around him. He is sufficiently shielded from Winter with only the triangle of his eyes and nose visible. The absence of any screaming tells me I can proceed. I tie the sled off to my belt and mush forth.

We ascend the driveway, just a half mile to the top. The mailbox sits there and provides our walk a humble goal. I gingerly unfold the broken mouth. Oh! bills. I'm forever optimistic in my expectation of a package. It is unreasonable as they never come of their own volition and I never order anything online to warrant one.

Disappointed I turn to head home. My small shadow is still stoic and breathing, watching the dogs smell each other's marked trees. I stuff the bills into a pocket that I suspect carries a broken egg. With gloves it hard to distinguish between an egg yolk and an eyeball but my money is on the egg. It will have been the third broken one this week. And we are not a household that can afford such carelessness.

Our chickens are laying one egg a day. 29 hens producing one egg. Curiously, its almost never the same egg. They've decided, collectively, that one egg a day should keep us off their backs 'til spring, so I reckon they take turns. With every $20 bag of organic scratch we bring them I do the humiliating math. Three bucks per egg returned.  If we were better farmers these hens would be stew birds in the freezer by now. We have a soft spot for old layers...and motherless lambs, and mean knobby kneed goats, and 3 legged pigs, and mastitic dairy cows. Farming for us has always been a delicate balance of hoarding lunacy and responsible shepherding.

We are nearly home. I slide in behind Leland and we sail downhill the last hundred meters to the front porch. I roll Stay Puft through the front door. As I begin to unravel the wooly layers the reality of our return to prison hits my tiny son. He screams, a guttural awful noise. I hold him as the angering reality of mid winter courses through. A piece of buttered raisin toast seems to appease him and within minutes he is chewing thoughtfully in front of the fire. I sink  into the sofa on the far side of the cell and look outdoors. Oh, its snowing I say to nobody.

21 comments:

  1. Fantastic writing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your writing is as beautiful and elegant as ever~

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so so so happy that you've started posting again! And your writing is just as gorgeous as ever. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. beautiful..... xxx
    thank you for a lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well all I can say is a post from you is a big treat for the world! Having grown up in northeastern Vermont, I can feel your pain.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Finding this post today was my package in the mailbox. I so missed your unique voice and the verbal adornments of your rural yet urbane farm world. Spring will come...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'll echo everyone else, having a post in my feed reader from here is a happy treat, indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  8. So pleased we only get the odd day of snow. Yours sounds hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's lovely to see you back here! Congratulations on your marriage! I'd try to take some of that snow for you and give you a break, but WNC seems determined to give us a mild winter. Hang in there!

    ReplyDelete
  10. so joyous to see posts up here again! =)
    em

    ReplyDelete
  11. Soon March winds shall melt that messy coldness away and the sun will do the rest, I hope! I concur that February is a brutally long month to be so short.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is absolutely gorgeous writing, Kate. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So happy to see posts from you again. Here's to the 1st March, may Spring and Summer soon follow! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. So pleased at your return: yours is my absolute favourite blog and I've missed it! Wishing I could send some sun from tropical Northern Australia (wouldn't mind some snow in return!) :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've missed your blog so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sorry if you have been asked and answered this question too many times, but what kind of camera do you use? In looking at your blog I've realized that my camera is crap. thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh I always love reading whatever you write here. Hoping the sun is warming your back ASAP!
    warm buttered raisin toast IS pretty magical. heh.

    so is your barn.
    and son.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your writing is startlingly comforting and educational - it is a gift! When will the docudrama be ready for viewing - I see a big screen out there in Chelsea.
    Love - DAD and FIL

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Best Calendar Printable in India Book Affordable Calendar Printable September 2017 At Affordable Price, Please Visit Our Website September 2017 Calendar Printable

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...