The wood shed with a light dusting of snow this past week. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm life: preparing for hibernation

Well hello, mid-November. It’s like I blinked and all of a sudden, there you are.

The ski hill is gearing up for the season ahead. Christmas shopping has begun. The Platzl is lit up with holiday lights. There’s snow on the ground and up in the high alpine. It’s chilly in the morning and at night. The road conditions change daily. The car needs warming up before heading out. Winter doesn’t technically start until December 21, but the weather lately definitely says otherwise.

The farm looks so pretty covered with a light dusting of snow though. I’m completely alright if that’s all we get for the next little while. I am not mentally prepared for hibernation yet.

READ MORE: Farm life – be a loner

I am physically prepared, however. I’ve got soups and sauces in the freezer, which I will continue to add to so we have warm meals for the remainder of the season. I’ve got a stack of firewood that looks so lovely and satisfying, which we will also continue to add to.

The house is winter-ready; cracks are sealed up, heated blankets are on each bed, and my collection of fuzzy socks takes a prominent place in my dresser again. The summer clothes are put away, the bathing suits and shorts folded neatly in a box under the bed. The boot warmer is out and plugged in each day. The basket of hats, mittens and scarves is ready to be pilfered through.

Winter has this bitter-sweet sort of feeling to it. There are so many wonderful things about winter but there’s also this melancholy feeling that sets in when the days are so short and sunlight is lacking. At 8 p.m. my brain says it’s time for bed but my body’s not quite ready yet. Any chores that need to be done, or outdoor activities to be had, better happen efficiently and early for fear of having to work via headlamp.

I do find that during the winter months I am more creative however. The idea that “once I’m home, I’m home”, sets in and I find myself reading more, writing more, doing more crafts and cooking new recipes.

READ MORE: Farm life – an ant on an ant hill

My music genres change in the winter, too. I go from listening to more up-beat tunes in the summer to music that has real meaning and emotion in the fall and winter. There’s something soothing about getting a fire going, lighting a scented candle, pouring myself a glass of wine (or tea) and putting on some soulful music. When it’s snowing outside there’s nothing better.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living here and I truly embrace the winter months. It’s crucial. It’s part of this lifestyle in the Kootenays and on the farm. You must bundle up and get outside! I am looking forward to ice fishing, snowboarding, playing a few games of pick-up on the lake, and perhaps even doing some winter camping this year.

I’ve begun thinking about decorating the house for the holidays, which is something I also look forward to. I will try to hold-off until American thanksgiving, which is November 28 this year. I think that’s an appropriate time to put up the tree, hang the lights, and start dusting off the Christmas vinyl. After all, now that I’ve started my Christmas shopping, I need a place to put all the presents!

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