It is 6° F this morning. For the past two weeks we have had on and off flurries of snow.
A friend wrote to me yesterday to ask if I had quit my blog or if perhaps it were being caught in his spam filter. I felt a stab of guilt.
Neither is true but since I started a new job in early September I have been busier than is comfortable. Though I write posts in my head, and even take photographs, I never seem to get them down on paper. Teaching four classes a day currently demands almost all the creative energy I can find. Anything left has been burned up trying to manage the farm, batten the hatches for winter, and finish long-term outdoor projects.
For the first eight weeks of the term, the new schedule felt impossible. Several times I rose at 3 AM, did barn chores at 4 AM, loaded animals, and drove five hours round-trip to the slaughterhouse before my teaching day began. I was moving sheep after dark. School papers had to be graded; parent reports had to be written. Both children far from home needed support. Rush, rush, rush. Once I was in such a hurry to leave town after barn chores that I arrived for a Parent Weekend in New Hampshire only to realize I’d left my dress clothes at home. Another time I found myself in the shower with my glasses on. The phrase that kept running through my mind was “not waving but drowning.”
In the past week life has quieted. Though there is still plenty of work to be done, at home and at the farm, the worst of the terrifying avalanche has passed. I have survived. DH has been in China for eight days and on the weekend evenings, instead of our usual shared movie for relaxation, I have entertained myself by exploring family genealogy records online. For me, historical research is such a pleasure that it is the perfect anodyne.
Now it is time to return my shoulder to the wheel but I will attempt to resume this record of our life and the farm. There is a lot to catch up on.
In the meantime, just for fun, here is a colorized photograph from 1862 that I found showing Union cavalry officers sprawled on the lawn of my Confederate great-great-great grandfather’s estate during the Peninsular Campaign in the Civil War.