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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 25, 2014

Winter 2015 prognostication. Sounds ominous, huh? And yes, it really is a word—I can’t take credit for it. Something about this time of year and things like the height of the goldenrod—about four-feet-high and climbing in our area—has me wondering about winter, what to expect.
My grandfather always watched Mother Nature’s signs to predict such things; well, that and frequent consultation of The Old Farmers’ Almanac hanging by a string near the shed door. He was a firm believer, said the Almighty gave us plenty of signs if we just paid attention to ‘em.
Well, now we have Google, thus any number of opinions, scientific or otherwise. And the consensus seems to be that we—here in NE at least—should expect more winter snow and cold than average in Winter 2015. Not sure what average is by now. Remember last winter? Was that average? And the last several? Average?
Until three years ago I’d never heard of a roof-rake, much less how to use one! Then we had four-feet of heavy wet snow weighing down our roof and strange creaking-cracking noises emanated from above my pretty ceilings. Cracks appeared.
Water began dripping. Need I say more?
And snow piles. Let me tell you, pulling out of our driveway was an act of faith, or maybe Russian Roulette! Snow drifts were so high we could only hope no cars were coming.
So what, I ask, is average? Well really, I suppose it doesn’t matter too much, since we are faced with above-average again this year. My memory of average seems to have faded.
Ah well, being the planner-aheader that I am, time to make a stock-list for my winter-pantry, freshen quilts and throws from storage, wash the summer dust from windows, and pull out the heavier lined curtains.
Must be that Mouse Village frenzy is rubbing off on me, huh? We notice the chipmunks and squirrels are into fetch-hide-‘n-store mode—do they seem even a little frantic or is that my imagination?
On the contrary, Fivelina exhibits her usual calm steadiness. She is busy, for sure, gathering, sorting and storing every morsel found. I see her scurrying across the yard with her baskets, the twins trailing behind, struggling up and down Downspout Timber with her finds, and then, not long after, she sails back down again, empty baskets flailing. The twins wee-e-e-e their way down the railing, before thumping to the ground at bottom, then off they go to field and forest for the next harvest.
The other day, I noticed beautiful wee quilts flapping in the breeze out on Bittersweet Vine-line. I suspect the mouselings winter-woolies have been sorted and freshened too, and judging how much the triplets have grown, likely her evenings are busy with sewing new clothes for them as well. I don’t know how she does it! She isn’t one to delay her preparations though, all will be in order long before the first cold blast appears.
The twins are need their own bunks now too, so likely all the pounding and sawing I’ve heard up in the eaves of late, is Papa Fivel and the boys building more sleeping quarters.
Bret and Betina are happy in their little home; both of them working hard at their jobs each day, building credit at Underground Warehouse so they can glean items to furnish their place more comfortably. My guess is it won’t be long until we hear some expanding-family news too, but if there’s any news to tell, Betina is being most discrete just now.
Now, back to my lists…

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