what a life i lead in the winter, what a life i lead in the spring

Fall is here, and the days are becoming more and more wood-stove centered. Is it warm enough to put off heating for another few hours? Is there kindling already made? Do I need to chop more wood? And where the hell are the matches?

Before Peanut landed in my belly I would spend crisp, bright fall days like today hauling scrap wood (mostly in the form of pallets) home from the big university trash corral and cutting it into tiny bits for getting fires started. Not only would it mean burning less bought wood and more free wood, but the work would keep me warm enough to put off lighting the wood stove for most of the day. Now I spend more time reading than hauling, and so I heat and I heat and I heat. I just hope the three square meters of firewood and the 20 packages of wood briquettes that we bought this winter are going to be enough. But my squirrelish nature always makes me worry about not having enough in the larder, whether it be dried food or dry firewood.

The leaves are changing colors and falling—not in the spectacular, triumphant way that I am used to from a life in the northeastern United States, but in a wilty way that speaks more of defeat than of celebration. I don’t sit outside for all my meals anymore—though today’s falafel lunch found me at the Dorf Zentrum (“village center”—what we jokingly call the table and chairs in roughly the middle of our community)—but the weather, at the very least, has become ideal for sleeping cuddled beneath two blankets. I can’t wait for Peanut to arrive and make that three people under those blankets. And by all means, remind me that I said that when I’m typing cracked out sleep-deprivation-inspired nonsense. Heh.

Flea market season is also grinding to a slow halt. I always miss them when winter comes, but a respite from buying—even second-hand buying—is never a bad thing. The last flea market Saturdays of the season are at least in good company as my first stop is the stand selling roasted chestnuts whose shells I leave in a Hansel-and-Gretel trail behind me as I wander. As luck would have it the end of the flea market has coincided with the end of my baby-crap shopping list, which I concluded last week with the purchase of a used two-kid bike trailer for carting around Peanut and company come February. It even has a “trunk” that could reasonably fit an entire case of beer. It’s just that awesome. (It’s the Captain XL shown here if you were wondering.) Nothing for it but to dig in for the winter with a stack of good books and enjoy the wait.

post script

I have had this song stuck in my head all afternoon, and I’ve decided that it will be my fall hymnal theme song. I’m sharing it since I’ve stolen the title of this post from it’s lyrics and because Robin Pecknold and co. can sing like god damned angels. Just ignore the second song on the recording, as it is irrelevant to fall and winter musings.

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