We don’t have a lot of farm work to do this winter, with no animals and no wood heat. We are very much people who stay at home, who don’t shop for recreation or go about visiting – an activity my mother called “gadding.” We are still getting our little house in the order which suits us, but there isn’t much to do, since it was quite suitable to start with. It is a bit of a long haul until spring.
My spinning wheels are assembled,but I need something to spin. My wool is unwashed and uncarded, and this is no time to be washing wool. I will call a friend or two to find some roving, which is what we call wool that is washed, carded and formed into a long loose skein for spinning. Nicholas is spending his time reading, which is tiring for him, but he is trying to stay up with his subjects of theology and physics. He likes to listen to lectures by the Anglican theologian N.T. Wright on line. We spend time talking and making plans, and I regale him with stories of my youth and family, which he finds amusing. Sometimes he tells me of his Cockney family, and their idiosyncratic ways. He has the British gift for mimicry and storytelling. We keep each other entertained for hours.
I need to do a little knitting and sewing, and will start that again soon. I have two dresses to make, coordinating capes and aprons, and I want to make new duck curtains for the living room. We spend some time each day in private prayer and study, as well. A quiet life leaves lots of time for that.
I had bought some books to read over the winter, but I am almost through them now. There are some old friends on the shelves I can read again, though. We are rebuilding our library, and I am being cautious about what we add. Clergy have a bad habit of buying interesting books (especially if we have a fund that provides for that, which we don’t now) and then never reading them. I want a library of the classics in both literature and theology.
Is it dull? A bit, if we let it get that way. This is the slow winter, the winter with little work. Perhaps it is the time God is allowing us to rebuild our strength, to live quietly, to make plans and decide who it is we are.