Homestead Happenings: all different now
Daylight savings came and snatched away anything resembling fall. It’s all different now. The occasional short sleeved shirt will surface in our laundry like a relic from a bygone era, as strange and impractical as a chastity belt. I fold the shirt and put it away thinking see you in five months.
It’s hard to be in love with November. Even the trees seem like they’re trying to shake free of the lingering brown leaves. The landscape won’t be breathtaking again until some snow falls, and even then, it’s an intimidating beauty, like when this incredibly gorgeous man was working on our house years ago and I couldn’t actually speak to him without blacking out.
It’s more about endurance now than besotted declarations of love.
Which is perfectly fine. My friend Steph told me she was glad to see the end of garden season and I totally understand. It makes me happy to think of the soil resting, all those billions of microorganisms going about their invisible lives, sipping nitrogen and dying in the arms of hungry nematodes.
And really, I keep waiting for the mallet of winter to come swinging at us in this dramatic way, knocking out everything I cherish like a cascade of dominos. But it’s not like that. It’s more like a recalibration, where I notice my sudden and fierce devotion to fingerless mittens, or how I’ve found myself thinking “not bad” when the outdoor thermometer says 39F.
Daylight savings scrambled our sleeping hours and the kids are waking up crazy early. 5:30 is pretty typical, though this morning they both got up at 5 am, which makes you wonder, as Dan did this morning “where is this heading?”
Today we saw stars with our coffee, which might make you think it’s not actually morning, unless you heard Col announce, “That’s morning star; I’m in love with her.”
My friend Sue is always horrified to hear of our family’s premature wakings, as if it could be contagious, passing to her innocent daughters. But being awake to watch the curtain lift on the stage called daylight always feels lucky when you’re there. Lucky like walking away with the veggie chopamatic consolation prize, when you really wanted the new car, or simply to still be asleep.
Everyone is at their best in the morning, energized by the first glint of sunlight and the cheery reunions with toys and coffee, respectively. And I am not yet worn down by small revolutionaries who want to wear leotards outside in 30F weather or sneak empty bullet shells into kindergarten.
All before 9:00 am:
Dan and the kids spotted this dead pine marten on Molas Pass last weekend, which is a pretty amazing find. On the way home high level negotiations took place in the back seat in which Col traded his entire desk including rock collection to Rose for sole rights to the marten.
Dan skinned the animal, dried its hide in the sun and it came out lovely and soft. Col got to bring it to school to show his kindergarten class (which is another reason I love his school). He told me that some of the kids thought it was disgusting, especially when he pointed out where the penis used to be.
Dan and the kids also found a roadkill deer that same morning, which got hauled home in the Subaru. Our freezers really couldn’t hold another niblet of meat, so, like the Robin Hood of Roadkill, Dan passed the deer onto our friends Chris and Sage, who were pleased for the gift of good meat. And as usual, our cat, seven chickens and the local magpies (whom Dan feeds via scraps on our shed roof) got some meat too.
Overheard this morning:
Col: Let’s say I killed this marten.
Rose: Okay. And you were my daddy and my mommy was home food shopping.
Col: Right. But let’s say you can’t touch it.
Rose: Wellllll, no. Let’s say I could only touch it when you were gone.
Col: How ‘bout you went back to your little toys.