Adventure: A Kentucky Cabin

Adventure: A Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky CabinMy brother has a cabin in Kentucky, a small, two-bedroom, *mostly*-finished cabin in the woods. It doesn’t have an address. He needs to call the post office about that. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t have a bathroom, yet. Someday it will. March snowfall has made the road to it nearly impassable, but he has four-wheel-drive and he can pick us up at the bottom of the hill.

Kentucky Cabin

We came from all around — Peter and his family from Ohio, John and his family from Georgia, myself from Virginia, my parents from another place in Ohio. Only one couldn’t join us this year, the brother in Washington, D.C. I guess it’s a city that never sleeps, or takes a vacation.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Nieces and nephews were everywhere, tumbling over each other in the tiny space. They’re all getting so big.

Islay is nearly 11. I was her nanny when she was a newborn. Hard to believe how time passes.

Ian is nearly 10. He wears glasses now, and looks so studious.

Tessa is 8. I remember being there when my sister-in-law learned she was pregnant with child #3.

The twins are 9, they hang on every word Ian says, fascinated by the boy. Their only brother is 2 years old. It shows.

Sarah is 6. She just wants to be included with the big kids.

And little Peter (little Peter to differentiate from big Peter) is two. Adorable. Precocious. He tries his mother’s patience, but makes the rest of us laugh a lot.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

I want to treasure the memories. Islay showing us her gymnastics skills and recently-won medals. Tessa sitting on my lap to play Battleship. Sarah playing Sorry! over, and over, and over. The twins sharing their love of reading with me. Little Peter putting on a “show” (ie. turning the lights out and singing one line of “Let it Go”). Big meals shared around a giant table. Warm fires in the wood stove. So many wet boots, hats, mittens, and snow pants. Knitting and talking and more knitting. Hikes, walks, tromping through the snow. A truck stuck in the mud. Laughter. So much laughter. These are moment to cherish.

Kentucky Cabin

I desperately hope Husband can join us next year at this Kentucky cabin, and my DC brother. To be complete. It would mean so much.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin

{Moments of Inspiration}

{Moments of Inspiration}

“Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them;
for those experiences have left an indelible impression,
and we are ever and anon reminded of them.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Horse and Goat moment

Typical siblings, Jane the Goat stealing Chappy’s grain and vice verse. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side…

House under snow moment

And our first real snow in our own home!

Snow Day (or lack thereof)

Snow Day (or lack thereof)

Snow Day!

It appears that nearly all of Virginia Beach had a snow day yesterday, and another today. Two inches of snow fell on top of a coat of ice and schools are closed for two days. As a Buffalonian, it’s humorous. But when all my friends are able to stay home and enjoy the surprise vacation, as Amy said in Little Women: “I wish I was Beth so I could stay at home and do pleasant things.” Alas, I trudged through the snow into work.

The last two evenings, however, as the world around us hunkered down to endure the weather, were entirely pleasant. With businesses closed and roads a mess, there was no urgency, no need, and no desire to go anywhere or get anything done. Our time was entirely our own — a rare and wonderful place to be.

We had a mini James Bond marathon (to make up for not watching 007 on Christmas) sitting on the couch under warm blankets, drank hot tea and chai lattes, made tasty food like chicken curry, and I even got quite a bit of knitting done. Our propane gas heat is out, but we’re making do with a few space heaters, rotating when and where we heat the house to keep the 7* air at bay.

Knitting

And we even got in a little outdoor play with the pup — a moment to cherish because this Northerner absolutely loves snow.

Playing with the pup in the snow

First snow

First snow

Barn in wintertime

When I stepped outside yesterday evening I felt it. Or rather, smelled it. That smell is so distinct for me — the scent of snow.

And in Virginia Beach, it doesn’t come around that often.

Sure enough, by the time I reached my truck it was apparent that little tiny flakes were flying. It wasn’t really cold enough, so it was a sort of wet/icy snow, and it melted upon landing. But it was snow.

I called Husband just to tell him.

I get excited like that. It’s the northerner in me.

Of course, the heat in our “new” home isn’t functioning properly (as in, not at all). So after freezing at the barn (really need to dig out some gloves), I put flannel sheets on the bed and spent the evening curled up under a warm quilt, sipping hot tea.

When we woke in the morning, it was in the low 30*s outside, and a chilly 58* inside. Space heaters and throwing a load of laundry in the dryer helped take the chill off.

The low tonight is supposed to be in the 20*s. Hopefully this afternoon the gas company will come to fill our fuel tanks and light the pilot, then maybe we won’t freeze. For now, I just feel sorry for the pup, who must endure the cold all day long. At least she has a nice, fluffy, fleece bed.

And, of course, in typical Virginia Beach fashion, it will be back in the 70*s by Sunday.

But at least for this northern heart, the brief flurry did a world of good.

Our taste of winter

Our taste of winter

On Saturday I shared a lovely photo of our home with a dusting of snow. It began snowing late Friday afternoon (making Husband’s drive home a solid 2 hours!). Around 6:00 we headed out in the white flakes and icy roads to take care of the horses. Chappy was shivering slightly as the snow melted on her thin coat, so we got her rubbed down and warmed up in the cozy barn with plenty of hay. Then made it home safely to make home-made pizza for dinner and sit down to a movie.

Saturday dawned in a moody, gray sort of way…perfect for a snowy day spent in the snugness of our home. But as soon as breakfast was finished, I dragged Husband out into the cold to enjoy the crunch of snow beneath our feet for perhaps the only time this year. Sigh. I miss snow.

Moody gray day.

Snow on evergreens.

Snow on herbs.

Our snowy home.

And, of course, Ginger loved the fluff too.

Ginger in the snow.

Running in the snow.

Going crazy in the snow.

Alas, by this morning the loveliness had mostly melted away, and by Wednesday we’re supposed to be in the 70*s…

Winter

Winter

It’s chilly today, barely getting above freezing. I know that would be considered “warm” in some regions (remember, I lived in Buffalo for 8 years and Montana for 4–I know what cold and snow are), but in Virginia Beach, this is the closest we’ve come to a real “winter” yet this season.

Slipping out from under the warm covers this morning was hard, but the nip in the air begs for coats, scarves and gloves–all things I adore. It feels good to close up the barn at night so it’s tight and cozy, the same way it feels good to throw open the windows come spring.

Sadly for me, the first precipitation we’re expecting isn’t until Friday, a 55* day. Sigh. This might be the first winter since I was a very little girl that I don’t see a single flake of snow–to me that is sad.

How could you not want to live in a scene like this?

Snow and ice

Hocking Hills, Ohio

Back in December I was bemoaning the lack of snow and said to Husband, “I don’t know how I feel about raising kids without snow.” His response, “What do you mean without snow? We got snow two years ago.”

Case in point.

Alas, I’m married to a southern boy.

For now, though, I’ll take what I can get, and that means bundling up and enjoying winter weather for a few days. I might even make some hot chocolate.

{Moments of Inspiration}

{Moments of Inspiration}

“Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them;
for those experiences have left an indelible impression,
and we are ever and anon reminded of them.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Our first frost in Virginia Beach.

We had our very first frost in Virginia Beach this week. This Northern girl in a Southern world took the opportunity to crank up the Christmas music on the way to work and pretend the white patina was actually snow =).

Frost

For the love of snow

For the love of snow

This Northern girl is having a hard time dealing with Southern winters. Back when I lived in Buffalo, NY or Billings, MT I would have LOVED a December day in the 70s. But now? Not so much.

I’m desperately missing snow. I never thought I would miss those blizzards–the ones where snow falls horizontally and 6-8 feet of snow arrives in a few crazy hours. I might even have to resort to extreme action.

Husband is a Southern baby all the way (in spite of his consistent claim that his parents are from Upstate New York). He doesn’t seem to understand my inexplicable desire for white, fluffy goodness, especially for someone who so hates to be cold.

But Husband has only rarely experienced a white Christmas, so I just shake my head. He simply doesn’t understand what he’s missing. He doesn’t ski or snowboard or participate in any other lovely winter sport, around here snow is just, well, a mess. Sad. Can you believe I haven’t hit the slopes since I moved to Virginia over two years ago? Two years! It’s heart breaking…

It looks like I will have to content myself with this lovely desk accessory for my snow this year.

Snow tissues

TC 14: Snow

I call Husband my Southern boy and he calls me Northern though and through. It’s true. He has lived in Virginia his entire life, while I spent the majority of my life 30 minutes from the Canadian border in New York and in the state of Montana.

This means that while I love summer and especially fall, I have also become accustomed to the cold of winter being accompanied by the beauty of snow. Granted, I don’t do well with cold. But if I’m going to endure it, I at least want a pretty white blanket covering everything from head to toe.

Snow makes all things new, fresh and beautiful. It’s like the world becomes covered in sparkles or diamonds…like God is giving us a clean slate, a fresh day, full of possibilities. I like the possibilities in snow.

I also appreciate snow for another reason: I started skiing when I was only 6 years old and I switched to snowboarding in college (where I was totally spoiled by the availability of powder in Montana compared to the ice they call snow in the mid-Altantic area).

Snowboarding

So while my friends in PA, NY, MT, OH, CO, and more places are bemoaning their snow. I will likely be incurably jealous and resentful of Virginia’s gray and dreary winter.

Yet, maybe we’ll get some snow…I can only hope. Last year, I was very bummed out about not having a white Christmas and then tiny little white flakes began to fall Christmas night and by the next day we were “snowed in” by about 6″ of snow that took days to clear from the roads. It was lovely to be tucked inside a warm (okay, not-so-warm) beach house with Husband all day, curled up in blankets and sipping hot cocoa.

So, here’s to snow.

Snow on the beach

Sleigh ride

A snowy photo.