Winter: Epilogue

Saturday February 28 2015

On Thursday morning this week we got a call from Monique’s school, Colrain Central Elementary school. There was a heating issue and all the kids in the school were being bused to nearby Buckland-Shelburne Elementary school for the day. When Monique arrived home she was all excited about the days events. It seems that the school had a burst water pipe, an oil leak and an ice dam! I guess we are not alone and even locals get ice dams, did he school forget their roof raking too? Although Monique reported these woes as separate events, I suspect that they were all related and resulted in the “no heat” situation.

This afternoon Monique and I went on a 7 mile hike with our neighbor Kate. The temperature was 30F and the sun was shining. This is the hill country, so a hike means hills and there is no way to avoid it. But today it was truly glorious. We did notice that parts of the North river appear to be completely frozen over.

The North river almost frozen
The North river almost frozen
A section of the river that is frozen
A section of the river that is frozen

But despite that, our spirits were high. It is ever so faint, but Spring is definitely in the air! I can’t explain it, but you can smell it and feel it. Yes, I do know that we still have 4ft of hard packed snow out there that will take a long time to melt.  I do understand that the ground is frozen for many feet down.  And I do know that we’ll still be having a few more snow storms.  But we are over the hump and heading towards spring and sunshine.  I can also see a change in my goats. They are calmer, seem happier and are lounging and chewing their cud happily in the sunshine. I have learned that simple observation of nature around me is he best indicator of the weather ahead. In the late Fall I noticed the incredibly thick beautiful layer of cashmere that my goats had grown, this was an indicator of the harsh winter ahead that they were naturally preparing for. Many of the locals also commented on the excessive amount of acorns in the fall. This was also an indicator of the winter we were about to experience.

I close this post with the beautiful words of author Katrina Kenison from her recent blog post “When the Going Gets Tough” reprinted with permission (thanks Katrina). Her words capture how I feel about the challenges of the last few months. Katrina’s words and works are truly inspirational to me.

“When the going gets tough may I resist my first impulse to wade in, fix, explain, resolve, and restore. May I sit down instead.

When the going gets tough may I be quiet. May I steep for a while in stillness.

When the going gets tough may I have faith that things are unfolding as they are meant to. May I remember that my life is what it is, not what I ask for. May I find the strength to bear it, the grace to accept it, the faith to embrace it.

When the going gets tough may I practice with what I’m given, rather than wish for something else. When the going gets tough may I assume nothing. May I not take it personally. May I opt for trust over doubt, compassion over suspicion, vulnerability over vengeance.

When the going gets tough may I open my heart before I open my mouth.

When the going gets tough may I be the first to apologize. May I leave it at that. May I bend with all my being toward forgiveness.

When the going gets tough may I look for a door to step through rather than a wall to hide behind.

When the going gets tough may I turn my gaze up to the sky above my head, rather than down to the mess at my feet. May I count my blessings.

When the going gets tough may I pause, reach out a hand, and make the way easier for someone else. When the going gets tough may I remember that I’m not alone. May I be kind.

When the going gets tough may I choose love over fear. Every time..”



  1. Nancy said:

    Beautiful, Judy!

    March 7, 2015
  2. Alicia said:

    Always a pleasure to read your blog – love and hugs to each of you 🙂

    March 1, 2015
    • jhadley said:

      Thanks Mom!

      March 2, 2015
  3. Katrina Kenison said:

    Lovely Judy! Honored to share your space today. And it’s MARCH; spring IS coming.

    March 1, 2015

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