We have sunshine! Ah, how happy that makes us! Even a little bit makes the day brighten so much. The Northwest winds are at top speed, roaring around the cottage, but never mind that. It's sunny!

Dave H. is expected today. We will do some more cutting in the woods. Our big project today is pulling out the Farmall Cub. (It's under a tarp behind the old shed.) The tractor is going for a little ride over to Leffelman & Sons in Amboy to be worked on. I may need it for house-building...you never know. And I can always use the 4-foot wide, offset Mott mower to mow around my 18.71 acres. It goes a little faster than my small riding mower, but it doesn't cut as neatly. It has a snow plow, too, and a drag. All good implements to be used for snowy weather and working the soil in the spring. I'm a little late on the snow plow, but now is a good time to get things ready for spring.

I talked with Floyd Sellers yesterday. I actually called to see how Fran was doing now that her emergency surgery is over. Long story short...Fran is doing fine. During the conversation, Floyd told me he wants to write a book about our "poisoned earth." He talked of all the plants "found along the roadsides" that are now gone, which helped people eat during The Great Depression. Floyd is a conservationist, a naturalist, an old-tyme farmer, and all-around wonderful, knowlegeable man. I told him I would try to help him write down his thoughts. Maybe we could start with an article. He was most receptive to the idea.

Last night - again - I drooled over the vegetable seeds I am ordering (and wish I could order). If only I had time to put in more gardens! So many seeds to buy, so little time to keep it all going! So I drool and dream and will buy far more seeds than I will ever use - except to use them next year. I'm getting closer to my final order. Half the fun of gardening is the dreaming! (Dear Reader, dream with me by gazing at the photo above.) Even though I sigh a lot as I look through the yummy pictures of perfect vegetables in the seed catalogs, I am very much aware of how much fun I'm having!

Had a delicious lunch at the Aurora "Round House" with Michael yesterday. The Round House is a huge limestone building where they used to repair Burlington-Northern trains and build some lovely, private cars. Walter Payton owned it at one time, I think, and had lots of photos and memorabilia there. Some time after Walter died (and what a shame he went so soon!) it changed hands and now is a brewery/restaurant. It's quite a historic place. Needless to say, I love the curved limestone walls. Michael is such a dear friend and a great conversationist. He's re-teaching me the art of dining. What fun it is!  Michael's parting words to me yesterday were, "May you dream of gentler times to come."

Alana sent some more suggestions for this blog - all good ones. We keep trying to improve it.

I dropped off the "Root Cellaring" book to Chris and Norm on German Road. They are thinking of putting in a root cellar - a great idea with their gardens AND because of the times.

As the wind whips around the cottage, I look out again through the long windows. The pond, always there, always beautiful, lies patiently waiting for spring. In the meantime I will continue to see Smitty and Chris' hut on the ice, the squirrel scampering around looking for food...

...as if on cue, here comes the squirrel! His fur is pushed way out today. The Northwest wind isn't fooling around!

To continue my reverie...I look out at the Land, and it's always there, always solid and everlasting, and protective. It gives me solace, inspiration and love. What more can I ask from such a lovely place? This...and the daily calls from my faraway  family, the daily calls and visits from my friends, and no one could ask for more.

Dear Reader, I hope you will be one of my dear friends. You already are.

"May you dream of gentler times to come."


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