“Surely the most beautiful of all colors of winter is the blue of winter shadows on the snow! It is a blue which varies with the day and the light, but whatever its tone, is both tender and delicate, and to se it is to be reminded of the purity of certain blues in flowers.”
Henry Beston in Northern Farm
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“The truth of it was that he liked chopping wood. Quite different from the damp, backbreaking, foot-freezing job of cutting peats, but with that same feeling of soul-deep satisfaction at seeing a good stock of fuel laid by, which only those who have spent winters shivering in this clothes can know. The woodpile reached nearly to the eaves of the house by now, dry split chunks of pine and oak, hickory and maple, and the sight of them warming his heart as much as the wood itself would warm his flesh.”
Diana Gabaldon in Drums of Autumn (Outlander)
It is the season for getting wood cut, split, and stacked for next winter. Usually we try to be a little ahead, last winter was so long and so cold we used some of our reserve. We’ve been out every weekend for a day or two getting ready for winters to come. We have almost finished the task for the year, then we will move on to filling up the sauna woodpile. It really does warm the heart to see a warm winter ahead.
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“As I settle down in this familiar house, with the lamplight glowing from its windows and the great planets crossing the sky above its chimney tops, I find I am shaking off the strange oppression which came over me when I lived by an urban sense and understanding of time. In a world so convenient and artificial that there is scarcely day or night, and one is bulwarked against the seasons and the year, time, so to speak, having no natural landmarks, tends to stand still. The consequence is that life and time and history become unnaturally a part of some endless and unnatural present, and violence becomes for some the only remedy. Here in the country, it all moves ahead again. Spring is not only a landmark, but it looks ahead to autumn, and winter forever looks forward to spring.”
Hendry Beston in Northern Farm
The seasons, something I love about living in the northeast. Winter is here and I’m enjoying what it brings to my life, rest and peace.
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“Snow was falling and winter had come; the season of fire. Candles and hearth fire, that lovely, leaping paradox, that destruction contained but never tamed, held at a safe distance to warm and enchant, but always still, with that small sense of danger.”
Diana Gabaldon in A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander)
As I read this passage I was sitting in front of the wood burner surrounded by cats. It was very early in the morning, the house was cold when I first woke up. After starting a fire and doing a few other things, I sat myself down with my back to the stove and started reading.
We just got a new wood stove. The old one wasn’t quite big enough to heat the entire house when it’s in the single digits outside. We have a wood fired furnace we use when it’s super cold, but we prefer using the wood stove instead. The stove was also old and starting to fall apart. More about this particular stove later, until then, I’ll be warming my toes in front of it.
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“The season changed, from one hour to the next. She had gone to sleep in the cool balm of an Indian summer evening, and wakened in the middle of the night to the sharp bite of autumn, her feet freezing under the single quilt.
Diana Gabaldon in The Fiery Cross
Last week I was working in the garden in flip flops and a tank top, yesterday morning we woke up to a hard freeze and temperatures in the low 20’s. On my way home Saturday it was sleeting, yesterday it snowed.
I had read this quote in the book the night before, quite fitting indeed. We debated putting an extra blanket on the bed, but didn’t. Luckily, we didn’t wake up cold, but you can be we put the blanket on last night! Now we get to work with winter preparations. Chains and plows need to go on vehicles, stock tank and chicken waterer heaters need to be checked and cleaned, coops need cleaned and piled with lots of fresh bedding, and the garden needs a protective layer of mulch.
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