Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dust of Snow

Dust of Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

~Robert Frost

The Homestead, Winter 2009-2010

I like to think I'm outdoorsy, when in reality, I am the one knitting by the fire, sipping coffee laced with something boozy, napping and hoping the real outdoorsy folk are enjoying the snowy weather. I imagine the future, when my husband will take the kids out skiing or skating, leaving me at home to read and knit in peace and warmth. I want them to be outdoorsy..."do as I say, not as I do", indeed!

In spite of the momentous task of dressing three little ones in snowsuits, I always say "Yes", when my kids ask to play out in the snow. I squeeze myself into my snow pants (pre-children snow pants, hence the squeezing!) and venture out. Inevitably, I enjoy myself. I slide down the hill. I make a snow angel. I lie down on my back and imagine the drifting flakes are tiny fairies, just as I used to when I was a little girl. My mood is invariably lifted by the simplicity of playing in the snow with my kids.

Looking at these faces always cheers me up, too!

We've been blessed with a mild winter so far, and have only had to have our lane way plowed three or four times. We've been able to keep the chicken coop door open during the day, and are managing to collect both chicken and duck eggs daily without them freezing first. The mild weather also means that their water doesn't freeze every night.

I always dread the idea of the birds being locked up tight all winter (being mildly claustrophobic), so seeing them emerging gingerly to peck around in the snow has done my heart good! It looks like our wood is going to last us through till Spring; only 10 weeks to go till the Equinox! It's likely that we'll still be using the wood stove well into April, to ward off those chilly Spring evenings.

For now we're hunkering down, and making the best of being Canadian in the wintertime. It is almost unimaginable that in 6 months we'll be outside in bare feet, surrounded by green and growing things, heading to the beach, getting sunburns and bug bites, and enjoying campfires well into the evening. I've always loved the wonderful variety of seasons we have in Ontario; just when you think you can't bear another moment of one season, the next is upon us.

For now, I'll settle in with some hot chocolate and my seed catalogues, knit a few more cozy items, and enjoy the rest of the winter.


  1. We just got home from a morning sledding in Arnprior.
    The little hill was one thing, the big hill down to the water another. I haven't had fun like that in awhile.
    I am an outside person that likes to come indoors.
    And it does my heart good to see the snow...even the city snow.
    Happy weekend.

  2. What a lovely tribute to the seasonal flow of life and love; beautifully written and close to my heart, too. I grew up in SE Pennsylvania and it looked much like the picture of your homestead.

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  4. Wow! The Snow :D love the massive differences in your seasons. What is it like when the snow melts? We're flooding down here in Oz and it's got me thinking (as I have never experienced snow :) about how the snow melts and the effect it has on the ground. I ideally imagine that the melt is gradual and it seeps into the ground without leaving too much of a soggy mess? And the reality is....

    Love your blog.

    (oops, spelling mistakes before :D

  5. Love your blog. My sister who lives in Cobden told me about have such a lovely writing voice.

  6. We got outside today too, and it really was refreshing. It was only -17 (heat wave for us!), and quite sunny with no wind, so we bundled up and went for a walk. I, too, claim to be outdoorsy, and lots of times I am, but it always a debate as to which is more enjoyable - the fresh air and the family time, or the peace and quiet as Dad takes them out. And speaking from experience, that hot, boozy beverage is every bit as good outdoors as it is in!

  7. I love that first photo of your house...what a gorgeous place to live!

  8. I figure that if we're obliged to have snow, then it had best be in grand enough amounts to allow for winter activities. That would be winter activities that I can *watch* my children enjoying. I'm doing the watching from indoors. I love our windows. Especially the one by the woodstove.

  9. Love, Love, Love the photos of your red cheeked little ones! We're snowed in here too, probably until mid-April, but we love it! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Ok..I am going to keep this post tucked away for when I want to whine about the weather in Western PA. We get that lovely "lake effect snow" that always skims the surface of Lake Erie and pukes right down on top of us. HOWEVER, I have nothing to complain about compared to "Canadian Winters." Yikes! You are such a good sport about it(inspirational) that I solemnly swear to buck up and deal with the Noreasters as they come..bring it on!! (now how many days til equinox again?)


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