Chores and Warm feet
All good things come to an end... And sometimes better things take their place! I was raised a city girl, took public transit to school, walked to Red Rooster for slurpee's, and my chores consisted of dusting plants, vacuuming and keeping my room clean. The least favourite of these was the plant dusting... of all the things that I wanted to do on a Saturday morning, it was certainly not sitting on a stool, with a bowl of milk mixed with water, delicately wiping each leaf of a plant... I'm not sure what I learned in those hours, perhaps that I could sit still for more then 5 minutes and feel like I was bringing some sort of extraordinary health to a plant.
Fast forward 30 or so.. or more.. years, and these last few weeks of my life have brought new chores! Chores I like.. ALOT! Chores that are outside, and you wake up and think, gotta get up, chores to be done..
Three weeks ago, we moved into our transition home, a charming little farmhouse with lace curtains, linoleum floors, framed painted pictures of cabins, and velvety couches, and the best part... a furnace the size of a small car that puts out the most amazing heat, toasty hot heat.. I may not leave...
Let's start with the mornings... When the sun comes up, I sit up and look out my window and boom... there it is; the sunrise, just beginning. Im not sure that there is any better way to wake up. Developers should plan so that every home has a mirror on the roof that captures the sunrise and pans it into everyones room. It's like God is saying, "Good Morning!, Look at this beautiful day ahead of you! Rise and Shine!" So I pop out of bed, throw on some comfy clothes, my muck boots and coat and greet our two labradors in the garage and off we go! First chore of the day is to exercise the dogs and me. We walk in fields, through stubble, across ice, all the time enjoying the sun coming up and the majestic, snow capped mountains in the West.
Chore #2, collecting our drinking water. We do have water in the house that we can use, but there is better drinking water coming from a spring about a 20 minute walk down hill from our current location. So we take about 8, 4 litre jugs, and trek down to the spring that runs year-round, place our jugs under the crystal clear cold water emerging from a spout that comes up out of the ground and voila... our drinking water for the week! When I consider how joyful these simple chores make me, it causes me to question that perhaps our modern conveniences have stolen some of our "needed simple joys."
There is not much that forces modern society to be outside everyday. We can remote start our cars, hop in, go through a drive thru on the way to work, pull into our underground stall, head up to the office. Hop back in our car, head to the indoor gym, remote start the car again, hit a drive through on the way home, and then pull into our garage and back in to the house. Living out in the country, with our dogs being outside, forces us to be outside. That gives us the opportunity to look up at the stars, watch the weather patterns rolling in, and hear the chickadee's hopping around in the tree's greeting one another (Im so happy they stay here for the winter). In a few months we will get to watch the migration of birds and ducks returning.. Im quite sure this is going to be one of my highlights of the year, the return of our feathered friends.
I have always known that when I am feeling blue and pulling out some chocolate recipe to make..and then eat... the best thing I can do is to get outside. I always feel better, even on a nose hair freezing, joint aching -30 day. The crisp air, chilling breeze and almost blinding snow that twinkles in the sun awakens you to the stillness, and the quiet. Walking down by the river, I watch the water carving the most beautiful tunnels through blue ice. And then of course I look up to see our happy Labrador retreivers rolling in the snow with frozen eyelashes and huge grins on their faces...It makes me laugh out loud every time!
Speaking of minus 30 degree weather....we have just completed installing a couple of thousand feet of infloor heat in our new home. It was heavy on the labour and hard on the shoulders and backs. We began the install in December and have just finished last week. The original plan was to install heat radiators along the walls to provide our heat, but some heat guy told us.. "Oh, don't do that, it will be much easier to install infloor heat".. haha... funny guy... Or maybe he just knew that this wife LOVES WARM FEET. Im telling you that some of my favourite affections in life are slippers, warm baths and a toasty fire in a hearth. If I am warm, I am pretty darn happy..... To all you men out there, if you ever take your woman camping, either heat up water in a Nalgene bottle or put some rocks next to the fire and heat them up. Place them in her sleeping bag, and your will have a happy camping woman!
Now there are a few things that do have me stuped... I would be lying to tell you that there are no challenges with living in the country. #1. Recycling... In town I had this wonderful truck that would pull up to our house every week and take away all of my recycling.. I miss that truly.. I am horrible, really horrible at getting my recycling to the depot... so it is piling up.. and every day I look at it and think, I will somehow get you there.. but it hasn't happened yet..
Also no fast internet and no TV... We looked into internet temporarily for this little farm house, but all that is available is very slow satellite internet at double the price we were paying in town so I have beefed up my cell phone data plan and so far.. it has been ok... our children on the other hand are... well they are never here. When they are, we sit around the table, talk about funny times, life and the scary data plan bills that will be coming in the mail...
Tomorrow morning, Lafarge Concrete Company arrives and Kelly along with some of his buddies will pour and level our basement floor! And....even more exciting - Fortis will be onsite within a few days to begin putting up power poles!
In a few months we will be adding a few more friends to our homestead, Dolly and Dusty.. they will certainly add a few more outdoor chores. I will keep you posted on their arrival.
Until then..thanks for following along...