All of a sudden, autumn has turned into winter. The shortened daylight hours and temperatures in the thirties and below make it hard to mistake winter's arrival. By late afternoon I go around the house and turn on various lamps and twinkle lights to make it feel cozy inside. But, it's hard to ignore the dark and cold on the other side of the window.
The fallen tree from last summer is now all cut up and stacked in the shed. The shed structure used to be the run-in shed for Audrey's horses, but they are long gone and this year we've begun to call it the woodshed. It will henceforth be called, "The Woodshed". Steve likes to go out there with his axes and chop wood. It fuels the wood stove in our basement, which in turn warms our wood floors and gives us a place to roast marshmallow peeps. That fallen tree has given us a great gift in all of this. I would have preferred it remain standing, but it gave us a fantastic bonfire and now it is burning clean and hot for our wood stove.
I finally gave myself permission to get started on my next rug project. My rule to self was that I must to finish getting ready for Christmas before I could begin a rug. Now that the house is decorated, the shopping complete, and the two grandsons' stockings sewn, I can begin my rug! I'm experimenting with hand dyed wool for the first time. I will also use regular, mill dyed wool and I have a foraged piece of wool garment from a thrift store that is the perfect color for some leaves. So far, it looks great. Steve took my picture when I was transferring my pattern onto the primitive linen backing. My thought at that precise moment was about how good the linen smelled. It smells like hay, nice and earthy. I love working with it. Every week I get together with two ladies who are teaching me the craft. I enjoy the hours that we sit together. They have so many stories of life to tell and so much gentle wisdom to impart through those stories, and this all while our hands are busy creating.
You can imagine the excitement at school as we lead up to the holidays. Children come to school wearing Santa hats and reindeer ears. Many children have come carrying boxes to their classrooms in which to capture gingerbread men, and someone sprinkled chocolates on my desk when they walked by. One little girl was late to school because that mischievous Elf-on-the-Shelf made a mess with sticky bows at her house. The Roanoke Children's choir came to perform for our school, three tour bus loads of them! It was a beautiful sound, indeed. Personally, I prefer a gentler, quiet Christmas time, but I still rejoice in seeing others' festivities, especially the children's.
Speaking of children, our granddaughter made my day when she mailed this little note to me. She has drawn pictures and written little notes to me before, but this one seemed especially grown up now that she is six years old. I smile every time I see this note with the two little blue pompoms taped to the card for an extra measure of happiness.