"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taking a Break From the World

Frozen fog was forecast and it came true.  It crept in and coated everything as efficiently as the raging icestorm that blew in a few days ago with no finese or touch of delicacy.  We've been hunkered down, just enjoying the silence.   Not going anywhere, not doing much of anything.  I took a nap.
I wandered outside while the wind was still and the temperature was in the high teens/early twenties.  I was in short sleeves.  It felt wonderful on my bare skin, although I wouldn't want to spend much time out there or make contact with any wet surface. 
My best friend, a rancher, is in calving season and has had a couple of heifers give birth in the past 24 hours in the midst of this.  She had to pull one of the calves (for the uninitiated, that means pretty much what it sounds like it means - sometimes she uses a comealong).
That it is bloody, earthy work and the side effects laid out on the formally pristine snow are somewhat jarring if you aren't close to nature the way a farm kid has to be.   I think of how my great grandmother used to think nothing of going out in the yard to catch a chicken, wring its neck, cut it up, cook it and eat it.  I wonder what she would think of someone who can get squimish about ground beef. 

I think of her, a lot.  The older I get, the more real she becomes to me.  I don't mean to say she wasn't real when I was a child, but as I was raising my children, she faded into a being that wasn't particularly significant to my life.  As I age, she is the one I am drawn too when I look inward and try to make sense of things.  I used to think of Nana when I looked at my youngest girl when she was an infant.  I mentioned that to her daughter (my grandmother), once.  She didn't see the connection and I couldn't explain it at the time.  But as I have aged, I think that recognition was spot on.  Both are gentle, noble souls.  I think I gave birth to a throwback. 

It is no wonder there is such a big divide between urban and rural people, sometimes.  Life is messy at the primal level, under the best of circumstances - filled with gore, smells, heat, life and death.  I'd like to see a new calf struggling to its feet, slopping and sliding around in the afterbirth and crisp snow with an anxious mama, closeby.  I am not sure that would have appealed to me twenty years ago. 

Husband is setting up the subwoofer and put on the Phantom of the Opera.  Sounds incredible from back here in my sewing room.   Then I heard the girls start to howl and he howled along with them.  This house is very well insulated and my sewing room is way down the hall from the den.  The subwoofer sounds like it has become part of the house - the walls sound alive, like they are what is creating the sound but without being harsh.   Between the sensory blast from outside, candles, the music and the howling creatures, it feels magic, today. 

Here are some shots going around the yard from the back to the front.

My birdstation is at the base of this little grove.
Shifting east:
Looking towards the NE corner of the pasture:
Looking east/southeast from the house to the corner:
Southeast fence line:
Starting to look west/southwest:
The southwest corner of the land:
Western edge of the front:
Looking down the driveway to the west - the new neighbors are building a log cabin house across the street:
Our home:
Bald Cypress in front:
More trees in front (looking west/northwest):
Front gate.  We usually close it but left it open because we didn't want to get it frozen shut in case we needed to leave. 
Frosty Cedars on the north fence line:
Looking straight east from my backdoor, this is the view:
A frilly pasture tree:
This is the ugly tree in front of the barn that the blue birds love:
I really like this simple shot:
I think I will go see what Husband is doing - he has Pink Floyd on and that makes him mellow.   I may join him with a glass of wine. 

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


BilboWaggins said...

It all looks amazing, glad you are safe and snug inside.

Don't forget the birds need fresh water, guess all your local supplies will be frozen solid. (PS: don't add salt to it in order to try and prevent it freezing, that will kill them)

Thearica said...

What an awesome winter wonderland!! I have never heard of frozen fog! It is beautiful!

I remember my grandmothers chicken coop. We never wanted for a fresh chicken on the table. We lived next door to my dads parents while I was growing up and farm life was wonderful! Fishing in the ponds when we wanted catfish for supper...going to the freezer and bringing out a pack of fresh beef from a cow granddaddy took to slaughter or going out back of granddaddys house to the meat house and cutting off some pork from one of the hogs he slaughtered. They did not buy very much from the grocery store!

They raised 3 gardens a year...made their own hominy out back in a black wash pot...granddaddy made the brooms we used from grapevines for the handles and wheat he grew for the broom part itself.

They made lye soap but mother couldnt bring herself to use it...

ahhhh memories!!

Penny said...

Bilbo, I set out water a couple of times. The girls keep moving the bowl. Pearl ate the plastic container and then threw up - half scared me into next week when I saw what looked like shards of glass (although it was plastic) where she threw up. I need to find a heavy, tooth proof container. I can't get the gate open to set it in the pasture, safe from the girls, because of the ice.

Penny said...

Thearica - what memories, indeed!

OklaTwister said...

My mother says when you get older and life slows down, you finally get a chance to review and remember the little things in your life that you were just too busy while living them to reflect on. Guess we are getting to that certain age. What a wonderful story about your great-gran.
We lived on a farm outside Perkins when I was younger (1957-1962); some of my favorite memories are from that time and place. I wouldn't exchange the time period when I grew up for all the gold in the world. -Carol

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