Monday February 23 2015
Several of you have been asking how we are fairing with these cold temperatures. Yes, it is cold. I have not checked the official records but I think that yesterday was the first day since the beginning of January that the temperatures have gone above freezing. Yesterday the high temperature was 37F and the sun was shining. The goats were actually sun bathing and for the first time in months looked like they were happily lounging and chewing their cud, eyes half closed, sleepy and lazily lounging in the sun. It was a great sight to see and put big smiles on our faces. It is amazing how one’s system adapts to the climate. In California I would have found these temperatures ridiculously cold. Yes, it is cold, but we have learned to live OK with it, and to dress for it. The air is extremely dry, and amazingly some people hang their laundry outside and it dries despite the frigid temperatures. There have been many snow days when school has been closed. In addition we have also had many days where school is delayed by 2 hours due to the cold –F morning temperatures. Almost all the kids at the Colrain elementary school ride the bus, and the school administrators don’t want anyone getting frost bite from standing out in the elements waiting for the bus. One might expect us to be down for the count with colds and flues, especially given that we are not used to these severe weather conditions. But so far none of us have been sick and we have enjoyed great health this winter. Maybe it is just too cold for even the flue bugs to survive. Maybe the more humid balmy conditions in the California winter are better suited for flue and cold bugs to thrive.
Battling the cold and snow storms makes you very aware of the power of Mother Nature: she rules and we must learn to work around and with her. There are also some great upsides to these climatic conditions though. We are warm and cozy when we come inside and home never felt so warm and inviting as when you come in from the frigid outside blustery conditions. And then there is the warm cup of hot chocolate or hot tea….hot beverages never felt so good! All of the snow storms also mean that we are forced to live life at a slower pace, we get more rest, make time to read a good book or do a jigsaw puzzle, walk over to the neighbors and say hi because you can’t drive anywhere. Fresh snow also means more sledding opportunities and cross country skiing. During last Monday’s snow event we walked up to visit Vicki and Peter our neighbors (and also our landlords). Vicki was making fresh donuts and had invited us up to join them for donuts and hot chocolate. They also have a few snow mobiles and on this visit Monique got to go on her first snow mobile ride. And, we are living in a New England postcard, it is awfully pretty as we look out our living room and kitchen windows at the snow dusted valley complete with river running through it, farmhouses and barns. It is a wonderful peaceful view, the kind that makes you pause and smile and make sure that you take it all in.