Friday, January 29, 2010

Brrrrr!

It was so cold today, and with such a bitter wind, that even the dogs didn't want to be outside. It was a waste of a sunny day, too--bright and sparkly, and I should have been out with my face to the sun, getting my share of Vitamin D and dopamine, but I just couldn't. Too darn cold.

Instead, I made a fire in the stove, in the morning. Normally I don't light the wood stove until late afternoon, more for psychological comfort than for heavy-duty heating. I am ashamed to admit, that even in the midst of these wooded hills, we heat mostly with oil, and only slightly with wood.

But this morning, despite the thermostat, which was supposed to keep the house at an even 66F, it felt cold, so I made a fire. Am I the only one who finds it especially hard to keep a fire going on cold, windy days? I ended up spending most of the day crouched in front of the stove, reviving the flames. It was hard to get anything done. Every time I turned my back, the fire would die.

I dearly wanted to go down to my carving room in the basement and work on my little piece of slate. But the fire would surely go out in my absence, and what if Bisou needed to go outside? I toyed with the idea of spreading a sheet on the living room floor, in front of the stove, in view of the dogs, and doing my carving there, but recognized just in time the insanity of this.

So I spent the day feeding the fire and going outside with Bisou when she needed it, and reading the autobiography of Rumer Godden. At one point I dozed off, but heard Bisou whining by the door--not something I can afford to ignore--and that was the end of my nap.

I find this kind of day especially trying. Tending fire, making soup for dinner, dealing with the animals--it just doesn't seem enough. It seems like a waste, and it leaves me feeling restless and dissatisfied.

And at the same time I realize that it may be my life's work to come to accept and feel pleasure in a day spent tending the stove, and dealing with the dogs.

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