Beloved season full of color and spice, on the table and in the woods, I love thee. It is the season of small warming fires in the living room stove for morning coffee time. Yet, children run barefooted in the afternoon sunshine. Evening brings jacket coolness again, ending the day with another fire, this one in the patio stove. The rows of glistening jars fresh out of the hot canners are cooling, their popping as they seal, reassuring us of fare put by against winter suppertimes.
At last we are home from the St Croix Falls logging job. It was fun, but being at home is better. We enjoyed the woods life: watching the wild life, listening to the night sounds of a big forest, and no phone or internet service. You can hear yourself think out there.
This is sort of a picture post and none of these has anything to do with St. Croix at all. Mostly they are proof that Fall has come. We spent Sunday afternoon and evening at Cheney lake. Dusk comes much more quickly/earlier than it did last time we went there. Suddenly everyone was packing up to go. We didn’t even get to hear the whip-poor-wills!
This morning, Elv asked, “What do you want to do while we are on vacation at the cabin?” We want to spend Elv’s week’s paid vacation there. Because it is fall time we plan to cut, split, and stack firewood. And to work any other maintenance and repairs needed there.
All of which could seem like not truly vacation adventures. But winter preparations have a certain exciting flair for us. There are considerations. How much firewood do we need? How long will winter last this year? How much snow will we get? Which really means, where shall we stack most of it, near or far? This year since the porch area under the balcony is still a floor-less space and tends to ugly collections of boards, buckets, and what-have-you, I vote that we stack most of it there in neat rows piled high where it is protected from the snow and is nicely close to the back door.
At the stone house the firewood/heating questions are being revisited, too. We have enough firewood around for small fires for fall and spring or even for the occasional needed boost for those very cold midwinter days and nights. Enough firewood, that is, if we get that furnace going. It hardly seems like a question to any of us. Both Brad and Elv would rather spend the hours of firewood chores on indoor evening pursuits like reading books. They want to do something less worky and messy than making trails of sawdust and melting snow upstairs and down filling woodboxes. I agree.
Today, winter and stove fires seem like a distant dream. It is windy and rather warm here in Wisconsin. We wonder how the newest hurricane is doing by now? Rather we wonder how the seaside folks are doing. Have they fled four hours inland as instructed? They must be waiting to hear how badly their houses are damaged or destroyed. I’ll take our long, cold, snowy winters any day ahead of their cozy, dreamy seaside cottages being doused in a hurricane of immeasurable water and wind.
All of the above is nicely sterile and uninteresting to anyone but me. I’m sorry about this. Because I have plenty to say about any given subject, you all know that! But finally, after all, I don’t have a burning need to say them anymore. Oh I want to write and think and read and write some more, but I’m finding a lot of peace and quiet in simply listening. I am feeling quite triumphant about this. Maybe I am growing up.
I worked over each and every one of the current controversies … I don’t even care to specify! You think up one and I’ll have at some point spouted off about it. I still have an opinion, of course. But I think I finally figured out grace. For now anyway. Grace lets me have my opinion without getting all hot and bothered about announcing it. Grace considers my own perspective as my own and different from others’. Grace allows you yours. Truth will prevail even though my soap boxes get out of style.
It is far more important that I am faithful in the things God gave me to do than that I educate you about yours. Don’t get to thinking for a minute that I’ve gotten all wishy-washy about things. I haven’t. It is only that it requires thought and listening and prayer to discover just what things are actually important enough to rant about. The prayer part of this usually negates the rant entirely. Have you ever noticed that?