Saturday, October 9, 2010
Long weakened and winter frost and snow
Last winter in our dooryard...
We have a four day weekend, of which, in the normal way of holidays in my occupation, I will get 2.5 days for home projects, and 1.5 days for school projects.
Today we'll work on cars in the morning -- that maddening clunk in the Ford, and the coolant exchange for the Toyota. In the afternoon it's off to school to give a talk at a student climate action conference.
Sunday will be official finish-up-the-Bale-House day. The job isn't quite done, of course, but by the end of Sunday everything will be done that only I could do -- the electrical work, the plumbing, the heavy drywall/insulation project, the most disgusting cleaning jobs. It wasn't reasonable to expect the new occupant to do such a lot of work, and especially heavy duty filth removal, even if that person is getting the place rent free. And some of the jobs required specific skills and knowledge most folk don't have.
But what is left is just a little painting and light carpentry for trim, some lighter cleaning. Reasonable jobs to leave for the new occupant to contribute some work.
Hooray for official finish-up-the-Bale-House day!
Monday is finalize-the-ex-servicemens-journal day. That will be an indoor job, and even quite relaxing.
Tuesday is a cell-phone tower climb to set an anemometer to measure the wind for a possible community wind project.
So I am so looking forward to my four-day weekend! Nothing like a good rest.
Sarcasm aside, I already feel better -- nothing, actually, like a good night's sleep followed by the nice feeling that I don't have to go anywhere except stumble out to my workshop this morning.
And we can listen to Car Talk while fixing cars, always a good arrangement.
So I'm not too ticked off about my non-holiday. The really relaxing holiday for us is Christmas and New Years when we visit Aimee's parents in Virginia, and I have absolutely nothing to do, not even a wood stove to feed. I'm often bored by this lack of work, but I make up for it by sleeping about fifteen hours a day!
Then we come back to deep winter in Maine, which is always a nice rest.
The northern hemisphere has tilted away from the sun enough for us to really feel it. The days are much shorter. Snow was forecast for the western mountains and northern Maine last night. We had First Frost on Monday morning here on the Great Farm, although it didn't kill the dregs of the tomato plants yet.
That was quite late for First Frost. Climate change.
But winter is a-coming, and with it the good long rest that comes from almost all outdoor work being canceled for the season. That means about a third of my total work, and all of my exercise, so I usually have to ski and snowshoe to make up for that, but it gets me down to an ordinary kind of 40-45 hour, 5-day work week, which is much better than the 7-day, 60-80 work week that is my norm the other three seasons of the year.
So roll on winter!
When we were kids, at church or in school assembly, we sang the old Anglican hymn, In the Bleak Midwinter by Rossetti,
In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God incarnate,
Of course, we never got winters like that in Sheffield. Back in the early 1800s, they did, before the Little Ice Age ended. But we certainly get winters like the one described in that first verse here in Maine.
Every year, almost without exception.
Wonder if I can find time to move some of that farm stuff in our dooryard this weekend.
Need to get ready for winter....