Winter Blues in Autumn

Tonight was Sturbridge’s “Bump in the Night” program in celebration of Halloween.  I was supposed to work the event, guiding young trick or treaters through the haunted pathways of the 1830’s.  The weatherman’s predictions of dire road conditions prompted me to call and cancel.  It’s probably for the best because I’ve got a 45-minute drive in good driving conditions.  Likely, the trip home would be much longer due to slippery macadam.  Granted, I take all the back roads so traffic would be less of a worry but, that being said, the back roads may not be plowed as cleanly as the main drags.  So I’m bumming, sitting here watching the snow and sleet as it comes down in finer particles than when it started–the kind of fine, drivng snow that accumulates usually–and wishing I was at OSV.

Of course, this is the first snowfall for 11 of my “children” and none of them seem to understand they’d be that much warmer and comfortable if they went into the henhouse.  Sgt. Feathers & Co. are all on the perch under the tarp, staying fairly dry but it’s not much protection from the wind.  The ducks are out in it, too, but they like wet stuff.  I layered the floor of the henhouse with straw and they seem to be eyeing this new “flooring” with distrust; I’ve always used just wood shavings but last year it wasn’t enough.  They actually spent a couple of nights in my house last winter because it was too cold in the henhouse.  6 chickens and 4 ducks was chaotic enough indoors; 17 chickens and 4 ducks would be insanity.  Should we get extreme temps again this year, I’ll have to clear out a spot in the basement by the furnace rather than in the parlor!

Yes, I baby my animals.  They’re worth it.

I still wish I was at Sturbridge tonight.  There are other reasons, reasons I’d rather not go into, but the biggest one is simply my own obsession with life in “those” days.  Anything that takes me away from my favorite genre is irritating–and I usually love the first snowfall, knowing the long winter nights are the ultimate time to slow down and enjoy life.  I think I need to rein in this obsession but I’m not sure how.  I see so little virtue in our modern, technological world.

However, I can’t waste the night lamenting being home, safe and sound and able, Lord willing, to take care of my “children” on the morrow…or, just as important, staying home and off the roads where I might jeopardize other lives, both human and humane.  God bless you & keep you!

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