By , January 11, 2015

Our cold weather has eased. We’ve warmed up to above freezing during the day. The gale and storm force winds have died to nothing. It’s positively balmy.

I think what I notice and appreciate most when we thaw out is the fragrance. Smells kind of disappear in the cold, dry air, particularly when high winds whisk it all past one’s nose before one gets a chance to sample it. The first day of calm, when the temperatures moderated, I could suddenly smell the air again. It smelled like snow. I could smell the beach. I could smell the aroma of good birch logs burning in the woodstove.

As we warmed up, life got a little easier as well. I’ve been wearing a great old pair of Army surplus wool trousers, one of two pair I got from the Salvation Army store in town. Unfortunately, they’re well used, which means the button fly has been opened and closed a bit too often. The buttons hang loose, and the button holes gape. Every time I stepped out to ease myself, I had to fumble around with the worn out fly—very easy to open, thankfully, but very difficult to close. I confess, some days when I was all alone at the cabin, I barely bothered. The fly didn’t gape, and no one else was around to see it if it did. Fighting it in the cold and wind just became too much trouble. Now that it’s warmer, I’m wearing regular zipper fly pants, and I’m much happier! I also appreciate not needing to dress so warmly before stepping outside.

When we got warmer, I had to retrain myself, to keep from steadily stoking the fire all day. During the cold snap, I fed the fire faithfully to keep the cabin up around 65°. Now, I make a fire to take the chill off in the morning, then remind myself to let it burn out until evening. For the moment, the pressure’s off the woodpile. More easing.

At the same time, daylight returns a little each day, making it easier to see what’s going on around us. We rearranged the furniture when we took down the Christmas tree, but it took till this weekend for Michelle to see the view from her new place at the relocated table. We noticed that we could work without lights in the yard until 4:00 p.m. We will still carry headlamps whenever we leave home for another couple months at least, but little by little, the darkness eases as well.

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