Large fluffy flakes of snow have turned wet and icy,
diminishing our three feet of snow into a heavy compact of white,
still falling yet, on day four,
frosting our winter wonderland in beauty,
the kind of beauty one prefers to watch from inside.
We are perfectly happy to spend these days home,
all meetings and goings having been canceled.
Outdoors, a slippery, thick mess,
difficult to shovel and plow,
sliding off the roof in thunderous heaps that shake the whole house.
Indoors, we are warm and cozy, and,
on a creative streak.
Rose has figured out how to make paper beads, like they do in Africa.
She and Jim spent the better part of the afternoon
turning old magazines into beautiful beads
that Rose can fabricate into colorful, long necklaces.
Anna set up a new sewing area near the fireside
and made a much needed new apron.
It is so handy to have everything right at hand and organized,
that I sewed up two skirts for Bethany, something I have been going to do for months.
There are many lures of country life,
but one must also consider the hardships of working outdoors in nasty conditions
to keep the road open, the paths to outdoor buildings to be shoveled, and the wood box filled.
Then too, living in a wood heat only home
means that next to the fire may be the only warm place in the house.
The farther one gets from the stove, the cooler it will be.
Living on solar power during a four day storm means there is little natural electricity made,
and the generator and batteries will have to be turned on, watched, and turned off,
the electricity usage in the house managed tightly.
Therefor, the comforts afforded are all the more appreciated.
When daylight fades, everyone starts to slow down and relax,
looking forward to the pleasure of a good meal and a warm fire.
The hearty, savory flavor of beef stew, or elk, in our case,
combined with Rose's beautiful honey oat bread
made for an especially delectable dinner to close the day.
We have been reading aloud in great lengths these long winter evenings,
with one light spared to be on after dinner.
The Little House series provides just the right occasion for all to gather near the fire,
listening about that terrible long winter,
the great grasshopper weather,
and life in a soddy as only Laura Ingalls can tell.
Pa was right, I think, especially in a snowstorm, that
"Mid pleasures and palaces
though we may roam
Be it ever so humble
There's no place like home."