"During the last severe storm I decided to take a whole day of rest.
I wasn't, I decided, going to do a single thing but rest and read.
Kind of a house vacation."
Stillmeadow Calendar by Gladys Taber
The above quote is taken from the February Chapter of Gladys Taber's book, which chronicles her life at Stillmeadow month by month. At one time this week, I wondered what Gladys had to say about the month of February. Which is usually my least favorite month in the year. As expected, her ponderings ranged from wanting winter to be over to finding delight in all things... vintage Taber.
Early on I enjoyed the cold and snow and the way it brought a lot of cozy to my days. But after awhile, they were met with annoyance until recently there was the day I wanted to stomp my feet and shout at God that winter was a terrible idea. Especially when one can't tell where their driveway ends and the gravel lane begins... yet, again.
But in His usual fashion, He spoke in various ways in an attempt to remind me all that is good about this weather. There is good? For those of who who do not participate in winter sports... there is good?
I have been sleeping far more than normal, taking long afternoon naps as suddenly I would be in the middle of housework and find myself incredibly sleepy. Staying inside was often my only option for even the walk from the front porch to the County road to pick up the newspaper and mail was on par with an Olympic event, or so it seemed. It was after a recent such trek that I realized English wellies would be a very good idea in my wardrobe.
I found myself covering the chicken leg quarters in the stock pot with water from the under-the-sink purifier and thinking, "Soup, again?" Sigh... that is a sign of a very long winter. For I love soup.
One day when I was trying to stay awake in early afternoon, I felt as if the Lord was asking why I didn't just give in to winter. For come mid-spring, I will look back at this time of excused slothfulness with longing. As there is more to do than energy to do them... with lawn, garden, and household chores... why not fall fully into February and let it embrace me?
Which is pretty much what I've done this past week as the recent snowfall sent the area officially into the record books as the "snowiest since records were kept".
There is something in our inner
This past week, on the first day the sun was shining and the roads were fairly safe, I warmed up our new-to-us mini van and set out for my friend's house in the town next to us. A snow plow was blocking the usual shorter route to the By Pass as it pushed back snow to widen the usable blacktop. So I had to either wait for him to finish or take the road ahead, which meanders through farmlands and by ranches and ends up not far from the high school where I graduated in
At first I didn't embrace the challenge of the long way around for I was already a tad later than planned and I knew that the snow on that country road tended to drift, which meant slick roads even on a day with no snow. However, the snow plow did not appear to be finishing soon so I took the long way around.
While the roads indeed were just a little snow covered, the scenery was wonderful. Sunshine was reflecting off the ice crystals of the deep snow, farms sat off the road surrounded in silence as farmers waited the return of spring and new life, and evidence of snowmobiles covered where crops will someday grow.
I realized, of course, that this is the way nature is suppose to be this time of year. Breathtaking in the Beauty of silence. The ground covered by frozen moisture, which will melt into the soil. The farmer with time to mend the tractor and rest his or her body for the long days to come.
The way God intended it all along.
It was good to enjoy my day out. My husband, who loves what I call Amish housewife novels due to his interest in simpler times, calls it "getting out amongst the English". That's a bit how I felt after a very long winter indoors. I needed that vacation of just a few hours as I spent the morning with a friend and then ran errands.
But I remembered as I was tired and rushing from one grocery store to another in order to reach home in time to rest before leaving again... I remembered I used to live life like this each and every day of my life. I was always in overdrive. There was always something else on my To Do list which needed crossed off immediately.
The next day is when I went to the bookshelf and pulled the vintage Taber off the shelf. I wonder what she had to say about Winter in general and February specifically. I've read through the book a couple of times but could not recall. And as I read, I smiled.
Gladys struggled with letting go and accepting winter, too. But she came to a very good decision. To stop fighting this season of blowing snow and temperatures which take one's breath away. Stay inside. Rest. Read. Enjoy. Accept.
I can't say February will ever become a favorite month. But at least I've stop pouting and waiting for spring to feel joy again.
Photo: Hubby asked if I wanted flowers for Valentine's Day and I declined, needing any expenditures to be placed elsewhere. But when I was at the grocery store, I saw this Beauty... far, far less than the flowers he was going to send. He was happy with them, too. And the aroma of spring fills the house!