127. Bluebirds in January

On the thirty-first of January

I long for warmth — hands and feet always cold…

the sun — so far away it doesn’t even melt the icicles

hanging from the roof,

or the snow on the spruce branches.

spruce trees in the snow

Blue skies?

Mostly the dark gray sky just turns a lighter shade of pale;

morning is only told by the smell of coffee.

The cat takes refuge in the warm dryer.

cat in dryer

 

Yet there are glimmers —

spirit-lifting bluebirds fly around in the snow;

a bit of brown grass shows underneath the pines;

each day brings an extra minute of precious light.

sunset through the spruce

Feb. 3, 2015: Sunrise 7:04  Sunset 5:16  10 hours 12 minutes of daylight… and counting.

41. A winter’s eve

The new fallen snow and ice of winter is beautiful when the sun shines20130103-212845.jpg

or when it lights up an otherwise dark night

or when the icicles glint like crystalline daggers protecting the house within20130106-230655.jpg

or when I am inside sitting by a fire in the fireplace … a mug of fragrant warmth in my hands (a cookie doesn’t hurt either.)

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Oh wait, how did TWO cookies get into this picture?

But mostly I struggle with winter.

The gray and the cold; the colds and the blues…
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This year it wasn’t even to the first day of winter before I was sick of snow. I was sick of snow, and it hadn’t even snowed yet…
Snow on porch

And yet, the seasons were created for a reason. It’s all a wonderful circle of life, even though in winter there’s not much life visible. (And the visibility is bad for us poor folks who have to drive in it.) One good thought about snow — it protects the fruit trees from cold and makes better fruit next year. Two good thoughts about snow — I got these gorgeous boots for $9.99.

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What kind of boots did you think they would be? This is the country after all, and Tractor Supply is my new main store…

There isn’t much happening at Apple Hill this winter. We are huddled in the city house by the fireplace, trying to decide if we can settle for a gas log fireplace in the living room at the cottage. There’s something so soul-satisfying about a real fire. The smell, the crackle, the heat… Ah well, you can get heat from a gas fireplace, but there is definitely no wood smoke or crackling involved. Of course, the lure of just turning it on whenever you want is a tantalizing extra…20130104-211419.jpg

I’ve discovered that many people have strong feelings about fireplaces. So what are yours? A real wood fireplace or gas logs for convenience?

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Extra notes for consideration:

  • The gas line is already run to the fireplace
  • We are most likely going to have a wood stove in the mudroom, and the stove has a window in the door for live fire action
  • The fireplace in the living room doesn’t have a flue/damper so serious work is involved.