I think this time of year is the hardest for me.
I’ll have to double check this at -40°, and sometime between January and February, when I’ve been out of the sun for my longest stretch.
I’m speaking of these weeks surrounding the solid freeze-up. At no other time of year is 35-40 degrees F so cold. In February it’s outright balmy, I don’t want a coat, and can never understand why my teeth start chattering when I’ve been outside too long.
Water freezes over night, so I have to judge whether to give critters water in cold bowls, or wait til the water thaws in the afternoon.
Until the afternoon doesn’t get warm enough to thaw the water.
Thursday’s high is supposed to be 35, which means manually watering the outdoor animals twice a day, to make sure they get enough.
Jay’s been building a small barn inside the big shed that’s behind our home. I’ve been *so* impressed at how fast it’s going up, and thankful that in (probably) less than a week we’ll be bringing all our rabbits and chickens in “out of the cold.”
But building in the cold has its own challenges, in addition to this is happening around the edges of his regular full-time job. Which means most of what he’s doing is not only in the cold, but it’s only lit by his headlamp, because there’s no electricity in the shed.
The stress was palpable off of him tonight, as we passed after the kids’ bedtime on our respective projects. “Is there anything I can do to make your life less stressful?” I asked, bracing myself in case he needed to say “eat all the animals,” just to get it off his chest.
“No,” he said. “There’s nothing you can do.”
And as I walked away I realized there was something I could do. Basically I needed to switch into winter mode and just buckle down for the new season. Because my attitude and the energy I approach my tasks with really make a difference in the energy-level of my house.
So I wore a hat tonight while feeding the rabbits. And my light leather gloves; enough for brief work requiring dexterity.
And I was quite comfortable, thanks for asking. So now I think I’ve officially made my transition.
Winter’s mostly here, but we’re mostly ready, and we’ll do fine.