200 year-old house on 25 rocky acres in high country upstate NY and SO many highbush blueberries!
Friday, December 4, 2009
First it Gets Darker and Then it Gets Lighter
Here's a picture of the front porch doorway, taken on October 29th, 2008, over a year ago, when the leaves were still on the big maple tree. The storm that left six inches at my place didn't even touch the Hudson River. I'd been in this house for exactly a week and didn't have snow boots or an ice scraper when they started to forecast a storm. That's the beginning of the tough surprise that was last winter. By the first week of December, it had been cold and nasty for about a month. This year - - not so much. It's been wonderful so far, and warm, warm, warm.
One of the things that carried me through (although I couldn't say that anything "carried" me. Mostly I fell metaphorically, over and over.) was thinking about the sun. For example - today is December 4th which means that the solstice is in 2-1/2 weeks. That's the shortest, darkest day of the year, and after that it starts getting lighter every day. So, 2-1/2 weeks after that, there will be as much light as there is today. Every morning I'd look up how many extra minutes of light there was, and think, "In a week, there will be 25 minutes more light." It's not much, but it worked for me.
This door stopped closing when it got cold and there was a constant 6-inch opening. It looks OK in the picture, but the bottom part was pretty mangled from multiple repairs. I got a new (salvage) door put in this past March which was wonderful. On top of the outside door being open - the inside door had a french doorknob (you know, the one with the handle instead of the knob). It didn't take my younger dog, Maggie, long to figure out how to open that door by pushing the handle down to let herself out. Of course she didn't shut the door behind herself! Another source of cold, the outside just coming right in and making itself at home. I replaced the doorknob, but couldn't get it to seat properly. It's comical now, remembering how I struggled to get the inside door to stay closed when the outside door was wide open. And it's zero degrees outside. That's all better now! Whew! I think I'm writing all this stuff about last winter not to complain about how bad it was then, but to appreciate how good it is now. Even in the depths of that miserable time, I did remember that I'm better off than most. I'm lucky to have a job, good friends and overall, a great life.
This winter, when it comes, is sure to hand me a new set of surprise obstacles. I have no idea what they are, but I'm standing loose on my feet, ready to bob and weave!