AROUND THE FARM: first snow

The partially completed sunroom soon to become well-used.

Yesterday it snowed here in October after more than years than many area people could remember. As I watched the flakes fall- first small and delicate, then fat, wet and fluffy ones- I felt very discouraged. Usually the first snow of the season is kind of a happy thing for me. But that often isn’t until at least November, and the past few years its been more like January.

Fortunately my sunroom addition is well on its way to being finished. Most of the windows and doors are in. My contractor and his partner have left on a hunting trip to Colorado for almost three weeks, so work is suspended until they get back. But I’ve already decided to set up camp there, chilly as the un-sheetrocked room still is, and the cats already find all the windows quite a treat.

Unfortunately the snow is the first thing we all get to look out on. I think I’m discouraged because snow so soon seems to foretell a long winter, which I’m not looking forward to. Though it will all  quickly fade in the warmer temperatures and rain heading in.

But I found myself profoundly unhappy at the sight of it, at shoveling my walk and my car off, at driving home from painting class yesterday in slush and muck. Someone told me as I was leaving they’d almost crashed three times on the way into town. I was on hyper-alert the entire way home (as I should be, really). People seem to always forget how to drive in the snow, like the rest of the year their memories are somehow wiped clean by the warmth and sunshine, and there’s as much to fear from other drivers as the actual weather.

So after a treacherous drive home that took much longer than usual, I went to out the cold but nevertheless happy oasis of the half-finshised sunroom. The cats ran around me enjoying all the open space, playing and hopping until they became transfixed by views of birds and squirrels outside the windows.

Though it was getting dark, a few late-comers to the feeders were still scrabbling around. Both the cats and I enjoyed watching them rush as night came on. I felt my spirits lift despite all the dreariness that seemed to arrive with the snow. In my mind I pictured sunlight streaming in, and a cheery fire burning my winter blues away.

Sometimes if you can’t find an oasis, you have to make one come to you. And that’s what I am hoping I’ve made for myself as winter makes its presence known.