Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Country Life

We moved out to Willow Road back in August. I fell in love with the property the first time I saw it. A small, somewhat run-down 150 year old cottage on 5 acres that's bordered by a forest preserve. There's a very small stream of fresh water that runs along the north side of the driveway. Cold and crystal clear. There are grape vines and blackberry bushes and a couple of apple trees.

The house itself needs a lot of cosmetic work. The kitchen and bathroom both need a piece or two of drywall to be finished up. The kitchen floor is old cracked tiles and even when it's swept and mopped doesn't look particularly clean. The Living room is a putrid shade of apple green and the bedroom is a pale pink disaster. Those two rooms will be painted come spring. But, this old cottage is sturdy and well built. No cold air is sneaking through the windows like in newer homes I have lived in. So, even in the below zero temps we have had this winter, we stay warm and toasty inside.
There's a small basement that works well for storage. Other than that there are three main rooms (kitchen, living room and bedroom) plus the bathroom and a small room off the kitchen that I use as a pantry/library.
We've picked grapes and blackberries. I've made grape jelly and fresh grape juice. Earl has found arrowheads up in the woods.
We've watched a family of skunks wander the fence line, a raccoon enjoy the catfood that the landlord leaves out by one of the outbuildings for the MANY cats, and the other morning when I woke up I saw three white-tail deer bounding out of the field and disappearing into the woods.
This summer we saw a million fireflies at night. I hadn't seen so many since I was a kid and would go catch them in jars. And the stars......I love going outside on a clear, cloudless night and looking up into the heavens. The stars truly are like diamonds in the night sky. Living in larger cities and towns for the last decade or so I hadn't been able to see the stars at night. Too many lights I suppose. Out here the stars ARE the lights.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winters of Youth

"Winter came down to our home one night. Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow. And we.....we were children once again. "~Bill Morgan, Jr.
When I looked out my kitchen window this morning I was greeted with our first real snowfall of the season. Snow dusted like powdered sugar on the ground and frosting the bare branches of the trees. Took me back to the days of snow angels and sledding and playing "king of the hill" on top of those huge Wisconsin snowbanks.......
Winter and I were companions then.
Now, decades later, I much prefer curling up with a warm throw, a creamy mug of hot cocoa and a good book to being outside in the cold. But, when I look out the window and remember the winters of youth, I smile......