January has been quite the month, a hardship for sure but incredibly gratifying. The cold, the plumbing, the sleepless nights - all of it is coming to a close with today. At least, the January version. I am ending this month with the peace of mind that two huge hurdles have been jumped: The giant butcher bill from the pigs and a mortgage payment made. I am still behind, and owe January’s still, but 2021 is paid for. This life here is nothing if it isn’t working towards sighs of relief. Another month bought and paid for, another four weeks to do it all again.
The last few weeks have been kept fueled by coffee, ukulele songs, texting long-lost friends and kestrel training. Those are the light, bright, things to this deep freeze. The rest of the month I’ve been keeping two wood stoves fed to fend off the worst from happening to the house’s plumbing (more than for my own comfort). Chores became several trips outside every day (for extended periods) to keep the animals' water heaters maintained (they blow fuses a lot) and troughs filled and clean. There are hay nets filled and carried, round bale deliveries, wood to chop and bring inside, and bedding management for the flocks’ comforts. I am almost burned though this years supply and unsure where I’ll find more. There’s been community efforts, and farm sitting for friends, and sunsets so gorgeous I think all of this is a dream.
January, you’ve been quite the thing to both soak in and overcome. I am glad it’s hard here. It makes me appreciate spring and summer and fall so much more. But I am ready for the next few days of warmer weather and break from this nonstop work of staying up and repairing plumbing.
So, onward to February! Which will hopefully be a month of quiet hard work, more writing, and maybe a break (fingers crossed) from days in a row in the single digits. Who knows, it may be far worse and make me think fondly back on days here where only one pipe is burst! But right now I am feeling the sanguine and clever magic that has kept me here so long. Ten years now, ten years since I quit my day job and chose this life. Every day of it different, and complicated, and lovely in her own ways.
I am excited for more light.