Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I didn't know what to call this because I am just thinking about snow. We had fourteen inches of it followed by two below zero nights and frigid days. The streets are a mess and we've been hibernating as much as possible. I was terrified my goats would freeze - but extra grain, buckets of warm water, and thick fuzzy coats have saved the day.

Snow seems to be a marker in my life. The snow in the Arctic when I first visited, challenging myself to do something so far out of my comfort zone. I went, and loved it, so many surprises. One of them? I learned to listen. Carefully. To appreciate silence and big jackets and wind pants. So I have the gear for this weather - I've not even dressed up to full capacity. Minus seven is not minus forty, or minus fifty-five. But it's plenty cold.

It was cold enough I didn't want to mess with going out and shoveling a path to the goat pen (but I did - don't shovel you get ice.) I hoped our elusive neighbor who sometimes plows our driveway with his heavy equipment would show up. I wondered how long we should mess with snow and an acre and large animals. After all, it was ice two years ago that caused Fred to pull me over and tear my bicep (I don't recommend it.)

And then I bundled up in heavy socks, hiking boots, wind pants, Bolivian knitted hat (great look that), down coat and mitts and out I went. There were bunny tracks everywhere, and bird prints too. Our lab had dragged his tummy through the snow in long arching leaps. Yellow warblers bounced in and out of trees and the geothermal well across the valley spewed a tower of steam hundreds of feet into the air. So, good goats. You make me go outside every day, even when it's hard. Good winter, to remind me how easy summer can be. And thanks to elusive neighbor, Bob, who came by while we were out and cleared out the driveway.