Dear Friends –
Greetings to you, in His precious name!
The weeks are flying by, but few things have changed.
We are still sans water. It was nearly five weeks ago when I commented to hubby Russ that the constant pencil-thin drip/drip/drip was certainly along the lines of water torture. However, that next morning at 3:30 a.m., when our temps hit lower than –30, the dripping stopped. No more water torture. No more…water. But spring is on the horizon. We have had some warmer days, although our wood stove is firing hot on this sunny-but-freezing day. As I type this, hubby Russ is traveling to get our daily water. I have our noon dinner in the Crock Pot – BBQ infused pulled pork (homegrown) with garlic/parmesan celery noodles. A yummy combo!
Earlier in the week, we experienced a “teaser” of what is to come. It hit the 50 degree mark. I actually took advantage of the beautiful day we had, and left the county. It was about the 3rd time since early December that I traveled over our county line for any reason. I headed to my treasured Amish friend’s for an afternoon of friendship, much-needed talk, and warm fellowship with her family, including her adorable grandchildren. Her husband teased me about our “running water”, saying we have to RUN to get it. So true~! We have to travel about 7 miles, and back, thanks to our dear friends who share their well water. At any rate, it was good to see my Plain friend, and make plans for spring. I will be returning to their home for Easter – attending church and sharing in their dinner – Lord willing. I can’t imagine such an Easter. I will be humbled, to be certain. Russ, although encouraged to attend, will remain at home, tending to the critters.
There are changes on the horizon for us. These plans are based on Scripture. His Word. These plans have been talked about, prayed about, wept over and are now being put into place. I am moving forward to enter my “field of dreams”. A move closer to a Plain life. I feel like James Earl Jones in the movie, Field of Dreams, beaming that huge smile of his, as he tentatively sticks his arm in the cornfield. After doing it several times, he shrugs, lifts his eyebrows and walks in, a smile planted on his face. I, too, am “sticking my arm in”, beaming as I do so. I’ve been waiting for the last year for the Lord to lead me. I believe all the changes up to now have been set in place for such an event. (The changes actually began nearly 30 years ago.) Hubby Russ is my biggest encourager. He feels I need to act. To see. To experience. After much debate and prayer, I decided I will just move forward, and see if the Lord throws up barriers, or opens doors. So far, so good. I’ll explain more later…as I/we move forward.
Yesterday morning, in an attempt to feed my husband, and to get him inside to hear my plans for the day, I made raspberry pancakes. (Russ rarely enters the cabin, once he leaves in the morning for chores. Many times, usually in a snowstorm, I must venture out and find him on the property to deliver a message, or request assistance.) So the pancakes were a draw. We smothered them with the fresh Maple syrup he had put up just the day before, while I was visiting my Amish friends. Tasty indeed. The raspberries were from my Amish stomping grounds, and brought good memories of retrieving them last summer. Sap run is slow this year, so every drop is precious. Trees are still tapped, waiting for a second “go round”.
Speaking of getting hubby into the cabin – we have laughed about his uncanny ability to KNOW when the first batch of my cookies are coming out of our little oven. I make oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies whenever the cookie tin is low, so it is a usual event for us, every few days. Russ instinctively knows when to come in, even if I delay or speed up! I then lose my entire first batch, or most of it! I always make sure there is fresh coffee sitting on the woodstove, to go with the cookies. That makes the day!
We still have our big hound of a sled dog inside the cabin, in a large crate, along with the other three. His travel to his new home in Kentucky is delayed another month, so he remains for now. As I type this, he is enjoying the heat of the woodstove. He doesn’t mind the delay, as long as he remains toasty through our winter/spring conversion.
Outside the cabin, I see thick-furred baby bunnies sunning themselves along the side of the feed shed – their favorite spot to be. Older rabbits are enjoying the crusty, albeit rotten, snow as it melts to expose new sources of tasty treats such as sticks and wood. We still have several feet of snow to melt before grass comes into play.
One day last week, mid morning mind you, hubby Russ walked out back (armed as usual) to stare face-to-face with a huge coyote. This big boy (as big as any of our sled dogs) was hootin’ and hollerin’ and yippin’ up a storm. After staring at each other, the coyote skirted the ridge along the dog yard area and along the back of our property. No wonder our resident wild turkey stayed treed until almost noon! Later in the day, while tapping trees, Russ saw where the coyote doubled back and remained behind our cabin. I was glad when my new Cree 1600 headlamp arrived in the mail, as we have a nightly visitor to the dogs, and I wanted the lumens to see properly from the cabin. Sneaky boy as he is, I can never get a view of him, although we know he is out there.
Although we loved our horses, I am so glad we are now “horse free”. It is a freeing feeling, knowing you don’t have to buckle down and spend the summer finding hay to store for the next year. Not only costly, but time consuming. But a good horse is Godsend at times. Like the other day while I was in my Amish friend’s home…let me explain. Upon saying goodbye to an Amish family who had been visiting, I looked out my friend’s living room window to watch them leave. I gasped and put my hand to my mouth as two-year old “A” climbed up onto the wagon, and grabbed the reins. The rest of the family was busy loading items on the wagon, and other children were bustling around. Little “A” raised his little arms with vigor and swatted the horse with the reins. I was aghast! However, the horse merely turned his head in a s..l..o..w.. manner and I could almost read his mind…oh, it’s only the boy. GOOD HORSE! This continued on for a minute or two, reins hitting rump, before 4-year old “R” took the reins from her little brother and wrapped them around the wagon. Whew!
I have so much to write, dear friend. I’ll check in soon, and update about our life on our 40 acres. So much excitement now that it is spring!
Until next time, Lord willing,
P.S. Out of the 24 chicks that our hen, Israel, hatched last year, 9 ended up being roosters. I wish you were closer, as they are too beautiful to “put in jars”. Anyone need a rooster? $5 a bird!
P.S.S. Speaking of birds...wait until I tell you about my new crow call (Primos) and what excitement it brought!! First, I scared our chickens half to death when I "crowed" outside our cabin door, not to mention it made the crows scatter. But later in the afternoon, when I went to the woods...oh what an adventure! Next time, I'll share!