The first little bit of springtime waked to the world on our windowsill – A beautiful paperwhite, a species of narcissus. My aunt gave the bulbs as Christmas gifts to the families, and ours bloomed, less than a month after Christmas. Springtime is just around the corner!
In the middle of January, a 50-degree day is a more than welcome excuse to spend time outdoors. Then again, a 10-degree day with snow is a more than welcome excuse to spend time outdoors. But the blue sky, the warm sun, and the little bit of springtime are irresistible and delicious.
We’ve been working hard getting the Miner’s Cabin closer to inhabitable, and week by week, we make progress. The electical was looked at by my dad, Jess’s fiance, and some knowledgeable men from our church, so we’ve been okayed on that. Dad maintenanced the wood stove and we have raided the woodshed up at Grandma’s house multiple times. That old Miner’s Cabin is already becoming a cozy place to spend an afternoon or evening. Nothing warms like a wood fire, that’s for sure.
The fire was hardly needed yesterday morning, and before I got the cabin warmed up, it was warmer outside than in. Kashka, the black kitten, found her favorite sunny spot on the porch on top of a pile of old rugs. She basked as only a cat can. What a life a cat leads.
Finally, after lunch, Sarah and I set aside whatever we were working on and determined to enjoy the beautiful weather. We love to just start walking, finding ravines we’ve never walked through before, searching out the unseen. Sometimes the very process of seeing the connection between known places has the allure of fresh discovery. We headed towards the highway, stopping to marvel at lichens, old dead trees, pine burls, and other secrets of the winter.
When we got to the highway, our property runs down into a little hollow and when a person stands in the bottom of this hollow, the highway is fifteen or twenty feet above. In this hollow, we found a culvert we’d never seen before, with barbed wire over it to keep cows from getting through to the other side. We climbed under, of course, and clambered through the culvert. It is a good sized culvert, big enough to walk through it, bent over.
It was mostly dry, but snowmelt had left a few inches of water in one half of it. We could hear trucks and cars going overhead occasionally, and when we came out on the other side near the Firehouse, we sheepishly and with great amusement saw our mail lady delivering mail at a cluster of mailboxes on the highway. No idea if she saw us or not, but culvert crawling isn’t exactly a “normal” activity that post-highschool young ladies participate in, I suppose. But I find more appeal in culvert crawling than a what the culture expects that young ladies (or young men, for that matter) are to enjoy.
It was wonderful to be out-of-doors, not hampered by scarves, coats, long underwear, mittens, and heavy boots. It was wonderful to taste the sweet air, to smell the savory earth, and to breathe deep of the first little bit of springtime.
Before we know it, winter will be just a memory.