Today begins the period I recognize as "Winter Finding". Some equate it with the day of Autumn Equinox (which is today) but for me these times are more tides than times. The greater world as I see it seldom works with the tick of a clock or the turn of a calendar page. Rather, the changes come gradually and awareness dawns over time, for me as I suspect it did for my ancestors who lived long before clocks and man made schedules ruled the day.
This year the trees have only begun to show color, but already the first light frost has touched the tender plants in the garden. Thankfully it did not reach the bay tree and marjoram plants living on the porch, protected by the house. But the change has begun and urgency begins to build on projects to be completed before (hopefully) we get a deep blanket of snow. Last year the first snowfall came for Halloween, then a melt; we had one more early snow and then much of the winter was "open." I do not like winters like that, but prefer the deep snows of my memory.
This year we have replaced a door and soon will rebuild the front porch. That project, hanging fire for the past year meant we went through the winter with a section on uninsulated wall. I do not intend that for this year, though the actual insulation and sheet rock work will wait until the outdoor projects are completed. After all, one can work indoors when the rains come and the snow flies but before then the poultry need dry houses, the garden needs to be plowed and the field mowed one more time.
I have started moving the fowl pens from the back field to near the garden and shortly they shall have the run of it. I will need to safeguard the young fall lettuces, as the greenhouse is not yet up. With luck that will go up this fall, even if it's a late project. If not there is next year.
Design work continues to flow in; this is the season for one of my biggest projects, as well, with a deadline before the commonly celebrated Thanksgiving day. And I cross my fingers for a good run of hex sign orders for holiday giving, though it will mean little rest for me again as I work my way through the Yule season. For now I remain working in the retail workplace and I know from last year that there will be longer hours for my part time job on account of gift giving frenzy and the increased marketing that accompanies the season. Thankfully most of my work is done before the store opens.
I am counting down the months until I can officially retire from off-the-farm work, which will be in the late fall of 2014. Then my routine will be able to be more in accord with the seasons, though as a working hexeri with projects that are given as gifts, I will still -- hopefully -- benefit from the holiday season.
For now, though, I relish the cooler days and colder night. Soon the flannel sheets will come out. Already the kero lamps are a early morning fixture for breakfast and dressing before work. And the rooster gets up about half an hour after I do now!