Remember that old story about the ant and the grasshopper? The ant worked while the grasshopper played. And the grasshopper scoffed all summer, telling the ant he was wasting time that could be better spent enjoying himself. Winter was a different story, and the ant was warm and dry while the grasshopper shivered in the snow.
I’m trying to be like the ant.
We live in the real country now. Not suburbia. Out on a country road, twenty minutes from a supermarket (yes, you veteran country dwellers, I know you’re scoffing but that’s not the one mile walk I was accustomed to), and a healthy hill or a small mountain to get over in any direction.
We got our roof replaced. It needed it. I may have cried a little as we paid the bill, but it’s the kind of repair that will pay us back for the rest of our lives.
We got a generator. Our power went out all the time at the last house. But that short walk to a store and a mighty wood stove kept us going. The power was never out more than three days, as I recall. I suspect if it goes out here, it could be awhile before the power company gets to us.
We stocked ourselves with wood for the wood stove, got the furnaces cleaned, even had extra insulation put into the attic.
The snowblower is serviced, the salt is ready for the walkways.
We’re as ready as we’re likely to be.
It’s already snowed here, just a little. I’m not sure if I’m excited or nervous about the first real snowfall. This is the Catskills. It snows here. It can snow a lot.
What will I do to entertain myself once winter arrives?
I’ll be working. That’s a sure bet. Real estate may slow down in the winter, but it doesn’t stop.
I’ve been taping the sheetrock in my partner’s music studio. It’s a skill I’ve always wanted to have and it’s satisfying to put some work into the job. I’ve put in four or five full days so far, and the control room is, I think, ready to sand. I started taping in the live room today. It’s small and it’s going to go faster. That’s fine by me.
Once he’s back to work in his own space, there is paneling I could remove in the house….boy, is there paneling. But I have a book to write, too. Maybe I’ll take a break from construction this winter and focus on that.
Come spring, there’s a garden to expand, some painting to touch up outside, and we’ll be back to mowing that lawn that takes a full day, even with a riding mower to help with the meadow.
It feels different, this life in the country. The weather matters more. We watch the forecast and plan our activities around it. And people matter more, too. I’m loving the new neighbors, my new town.
This is what I always hope for my clients — finding the place that feels like home.
I got lucky. I found mine.