I woke up extra early on Sunday morning and let the dogs out for a cold and brief run. I made myself breakfast, exercised and worked some crossword puzzles and cryptograms. But it was still so early that I went back to bed, read more in my novel and fell asleep. When I again awoke, this time at a more reasonable hour, I decided to walk across the road to visit my neighbors. This young couple with two baby boys has been friendly and helpful. They are taking the wood from the giant maples I had cut down and in return are plowing my snow.
When I arrived, they were cooking a venison breakfast and invited me to join them. I'd already eaten, so declined. But we had a nice visit and as I left their house, I said hello to their beef cattle:
As I left my neighbors' house, my farm across the road looked warm and cozy in the early morning winter cold. I'm looking forward to the day when it will be my full time residence and I will have friendly Red Poll cattle and chickens in the barn:
My next closest neighbors live in the house to the south of my farm. You can see their home way down the road in this photo. It was so terribly cold and blustery that I drove to visit them instead of walking. They are an older couple and I'd heard that the wife had been ill. When I arrived, the husband invited me in and told me that his wife had passed away suddenly on December 13th. We had a teary eyed visit and I returned home:
My farm apartment is warm and comfortable. The dogs were glad to see me but didn't much want to go back outdoors. They had to go out there, of course, but only briefly:
Seamus has a lot of body to keep fed. So while the other dogs napped, he ate. Going out into the extreme cold, snow and wind only increases his appetite. It seems to have the same affect on me:
The weather was so uncomfortable (and the winter storm was predicted to continue for several days) that I decided to return home a day earlier than planned. I shut down the apartment, said good bye to my tenants, packed up the dogs and began the trip home, snapping one last photo of my barn in the process:
The gravel road which bisects my farm is also the fastest route to the highway which would take me home. I expected it might be impassable in the heavy snows, but found it both plowed and sanded. People in the north country know how to deal with winter weather! The dogs and I drove down the gravel road through the woods and began the long journey home: