Back in the Land of Ice

We pulled in yesterday afternoon. After two days of getting up at 2:30 AM to be on the road at 4, I was worn out. Both Joanne and Lucy had caught my bad cold and became progressively sicker as we drove. I tried to do proportionately more of the driving, despite my own coughing and sneezing, and by the end of each day we were loudly singing folk songs to keep up morale.  Michael Row the Boat Ashore, Sloop John B., My Darling Clementine, Birmingham Jail, John Henry… we croaked them all as the miles rolled by.

The trip back was not just a return to work and real life, but a rolling back of the seasons. On our way down to Florida we’d noted each evidence of progress toward spring with excitement and delight. No snow by New York City! Mud in New Jersey! Daffodils in Fredericksburg! Flowering cherries in Richmond! Dogwood blossoms in North Carolina! Green pastures in South Carolina! Trees in full leaf in Georgia! And on and on, until we came to tropical Florida, palms, the scent of orange blossoms, and a cheery chorus of birds at dawn.

After ten days of high summer conditions, with flagstones warm under our bare toes, it was rather depressing to watch the tide of spring reverse as we once again headed north. The further we drove, the more color and life drained out of the landscape. At the farm it looked as if we’d never been away.

However we did have our brief escape from the cold and snow, it was lovely, and we will keep the memories all year.

Then, too, it’s always good to pull back on coveralls and boots, wool hat, and mittens to see the animals. It’s like pulling back on my life. Even climbing into the truck made me happy. The barn smelled wonderfully of hay. The animals looked glossy and well cared-for. All the lambs were plump and bouncy. Alison and Tom did a magnificent job.

This morning it was 2° and snowing. I milked Katika with frozen fingers. Moxie was in heat. We are definitely home.


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