Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bringing it Inside

So, the season has turned for real. September was endless summer and the beginning of October was warm enough to allow for the illusion that we had plenty of time yet before the first frost bit. Bite is has, though. The mornings are beautiful, but I can’t sit on the porch to watch them unfold, even with the sleeping bag I was wrapping myself in for awhile, steaming coffee mug warming my hands. The frost silvers the grasses in the meadow (which John still hasn’t quite found the time to mow) and the sky is showing its winter colors—baby blue and soft pink. I take a refreshing breath of cold air through my sleep-stuffy nose when I open the door to get some fresh kindling and firewood off the porch at six a.m. That is now my encounter with the morning. And I always, always, think about my future animals at that time…Hmmm, I’d have to trudge to the barn right now if I had horses, goats, chickens. Well, maybe I could warm up for a minute or two before bundling up and heading out into the frosty air to feed, water, and check. A mere human could be allowed a little coffee first, no?

This week, the days have been lovely and warm enough to work outside by the time the sun hits the zenith. John and I did so this past weekend. I put a first coat of paint on the front door of the new house and he cleaned up behind the workshop in preparation for stacking wood. Still, I am aware that the stakes have shifted in favor of winter and I feel almost a panic somewhere down deep. I feel like a squirrel wondering, have I stored enough nuts in the right places? I walk around and see things that I thought I’d have plenty of time to do, like till up next year’s garden, and plant the rock garden with ferns (or shell those walnuts!) and realize that it is too late. Those things will have to wait until next year. The other part of it is a feeling of, hurry, hurry, save this! I’ve got to get the paint out of John’s workshop or it will freeze. I’ve got to put the amaryllis bulb and the voodoo plant in the root cellar. What else…what else? I scan the yard for S.O.S. signs.

Inside the cabin, it is a different mood. I’m feeling that familiar surge of creativity that has always come to me in the fall. I still have several weeks to wait until I can have the new house to store non-decorative things like file boxes in, but I got busy one night last week despite that fact. I’ve had these plain white pillows in the cabin for a long time and have always wanted to warm them up, so I took some old yellow and red toile fabric and some buttons and had at it. It is amazing what color will do to help tie a room together. I’m certainly not done yet, but it has already helped the burgeoning color scheme of the cabin’s main room.

Next spring, I’ll probably have a pile of half-finished projects like those pillows, that I thought I’d have plenty of time to get done over the long, dark winter months. And they’ll have to wait until next year, because the outdoors will be calling with all of its chores and charms. I hope I’m that lucky.


Alice said...

Well, I'm all for a whole array of random things so one pillow at a time is fine in my book :-) Looks fabulous!!!! Ahh, the weather sounds just magical, but like you say - oooo those cold mornings trudging across to feed the animals *shudder* but I think writing about it keeps the romantic side of it alive :-)

Meg said...

Thanks Alice! I was just looking at your beautiful handbags on your Flickr site, and was hestitating as to whether to actually put that picture of the pillows up or not! However, we start from where we are in life, right? I'm actually a little bit French Country at heart and must work to restrain my tendancy towards ruffles and fringe in this more rustic cabin. But when I get in the new house...look out!

mamawhatthe said...

This was a really lovely post, Meg. I have been scurrying around, burying my nuts for winter, as well. You hit the nail on the head regarding unfinished projects. But you know, isn't it better to always have something to do than to not? My mother put off retirement for many years because she didn't know how she would keep busy. That is an unfathomable problem to me. I would rather leave a few unfinished projects in my wake than twiddle my thumbs waiting for life to begin. (My mother would point out that I've left more than a few unfinished projects in my wake :) I may be a bit ADD, but I am always interested in what I am doing!

Meg said...

Hi mama! thanks for the comment.
Yes, indeed, one person's ADD is another's life blood. I come by the trait naturally, I guess. My grandmother was a true Rennaissance woman--she always had a project going and she became talented at so many things--cooking, sewing, painting, music, gardening, lace-making--everything! It is her I blame/thank for the desire to do so many things in life.