As the first few flakes of snow dusted the dry fields of Illinois, I breathed a sigh of relief; winter was here. The garden was done, the fruits and vegetables canned or frozen for the season. The pigs, a quarter of a cow, and dozens of chickens were processed, bagged, and waiting in the freezer for us to enjoy. No more fence lines to clear, no more chicken pens to move, no more playing hide and seek with the cows; everything was buttoned down for the few brief but lovely months of snow.
We still had the cow to milk twice a day, but she was already in the barn. One batch of chickens needed to be fed and watered every three to four days, and there were eggs to collect. That was it. This felt like nothing after the work-load of the summer months, not to mention that my husband was home, so even these paltry tasks were split between the two of us.
There was time to relax and enjoy being together, to cuddle up inside and feast on the bounty which our little farm had provided. There are many days that I can recall sitting down, spending time with my family, and thinking how much I love winter.