Single Digits and Sun

We woke this morning to single digits and sun.

I step outside, eyes squinting, to find the world unwrapped from it’s veil of rain and clouds. Nothing but crisp lines and clear skies as far as the eye can see. What was recently soggy ground now crunches beneath my boots and the little ponds have frozen solid. Smooth, dark ice that captures the blue of the sky and reflects back a deeper hue than the one above.

The sun, sitting low in that field of blue, is lacking in warmth but making up for in light. Photographers talk of the golden hours, but now, as the year turns, we have golden days. Shadows are long, colors are rich and the dogs running through the fields are surrounded by a constant halo of light, backlit, even at midday.

Clouds from dogs’ breath trail behind them as if they were small steam engines and milkweed pods burst open as they fly past. Seeds lit golden by the sun are caught by the biting wind and swirl off out of sight.

As I walk, my cheeks stiffen from the wind and cold – a small price to pay for a morning out in single digits and sun.


My Apologies

It was bright, sunny and unseasonably warm when I discovered that we needed to replace our wood stove.

The weather was already cooler the next day as we swapped it for the old one we had in reserve.stove pipe

At this time of year, on a bright sunny day, we can heat the house using the greenhouse. But, when we held pieces of stove pipe up above our heads and tried in vain to fit them together like giant, dirty legos, the sun went away.

Today, as I stare at our defunct stove and we wait for the parts and pieces that we need, it’s cloudy and cold.wood stove

Old Murphy and his law have struck again. Our main heat source goes and just like that, snow in the forecast tonight and our first real freeze tomorrow night.

My apologies, I didn’t mean to ruin the nice weather!



A Difference of Opinion

I was visiting my grandparents and it was hot.

Eighty degrees hot.

For those of you who don’t think that sounds hot, I will hazard a guess that you didn’t just come off a winter whose temps dipped to -40, (yes that’s Fahrenheit) followed by a cold, late spring. Let me just tell you, us Wisconsinites hit 50 and pulled out shorts and tank tops because it was so nice. We aren’t yet acclimated to hot. And the 80 degree, still, humid weather was airless and hot.

So, on such a nice, warm evening Aunt Carol thought Grandma would like to go for a ride on the four-wheel “mule.”

Concerned about the evening turning chilly, Grandma was all for bundling up to go out. (Please remember the -40 winter and late spring!) Carol was able to convince her to merely bring along her knit hat rather than wear it and so as we loaded up and headed out into the field, it was sitting on the seat between them close at hand.

Slowly cruising through the hay field, we watched the bobolinks fly up off their nests and then float back down. We occasionally stopped to pull patches of blooming yellow rocket out of the green field. We headed into the woods to admire all the wildflowers and, we sweated.

We sweated in that way that happens when it’s so humid that it seems to be impossible to muster a drip of sweat. Instead skin turns unreasonably sticky. The air was too damp to allow even another drop of moisture to evaporate off your skin, bringing it’s cooling relief.

But, it was a beautiful night, the company was wonderful and the bit of a breeze as we moved along was a welcome relief. I sat, took a few pictures and tried to ignore the stickiness of the evening. Soon I heard Grandma’s voice float back to me:

“You were right, it is quite mild.”


Now, I believe that one should treat the matriarch of the family with respect, even if their opinion differs from yours. Not to mention disagreeing with the woman who raised eight children is bound to be a losing proposition (just ask my dad how that turns out.) But love and respect aside, my hair was curling, my legs were stuck to the inside of my jeans and I just couldn’t stop myself from hollering back,

“HOT grandma, it’s called HOT!”

“Beautiful Weather”

I’d like to round up every weatherman in the area who is talking about the gorgeous/lovely/beautiful/warm temperatures we are having and invite them over.

I’m not going to open the gate for them, that way they’ll be forced to step into the gigantic puddle when they get out of their cars to open the gate Then I’m going to send them to get a bucket of water out of the now literal mudroom (which is also where I do laundry and paint shutters- NOT a good combo) and have them walk the bucket over the mix of ice, snow and mud to the chicken coop.  I hope that they don’t actually fall down with their five gallon bucket of water.  Almost falling and wrenching every muscle in their body as their feet frantically look for solid footing is much more what they deserve. Once they arrive at the chicken coop which is thawing into the nastiness that chicken coops thaw into when the weather breaks they can quickly water the chickens before heading back. On the way back I’m sure they’ll see my ducks. My ducks whom tried to take baths in the melting puddles but just ended up muddy disasters, I hope they feel bad at the pitiful sight they now are.

Perhaps as they splash back across the river that was formerly my driveway they’ll indulge in a bit of puddle stomping with the girls. While they are distracted with that I think I’ll open their car doors and watch Piper leave Great Dane sized mud prints all the way through to the back where she will sit innocently as if she materialized there and didn’t just run over all the seats.

After I send them back home to their houses (that no doubt have paved driveways and sidewalks leading to their doors )and they launder everything, including their car seats, hopefully they’ll be able to come up with a much more appropriate description of this February thaw we are having.

I’d help them come up with one myself but mine all involve four letters and can’t be said on the radio.