The holidays always bring a flurry of activity around here. In addition to the usual cooking, decorating and gifting that everyone does this time of year, we also find ourselves prepping the farm for winter. We're laying in firewood, fortifying the animal shelters, stocking up on hay and straw, putting the garden to bed. We've been at it for a good six or eight weeks now, trying to get things zipped up for the year.
We probably don't need to do this. Our winter "down time" really only lasts for about six or eight weeks. But here's the thing - we like the down time. We need it, really. It would be easy in a place like this to just plug along all year and never take a break. But the holidays wear us out a bit, and we know that come mid-February the real work will start, so we relish the dark days when we can hole up in the house to plot and plan.
I'm not done with Christmas yet. I'm close - I can taste victory - and the tasks I have left are all ones I enjoy. I have a bit of cooking, a bit of crafting, quite a bit of wrapping (I love wrapping) and I'm there. I'm on the home stretch. I can see those dark days of January in my sights. I'll finish up in the next couple of days, and spend the last week before Christmas just being. I'll drink hot chocolate and watch movies. I'll nap with my dogs. I'll browse the pages of seed and poultry catalogs with big dreams. We'll spend Christmas with the family eating pate and sausage balls and cookies. We'll drink too much wine and play charades. We'll build a bonfire and talk to distant relatives on the phone. The week after Christmas will be more of the same. We'll drink champagne on New Year's Eve in our pj's, watch James Bond films and eat brisket for days. And when we rouse ourselves from our party-heads, the dark days - the down time - will be upon us. We'll sit together with notepads and pens on the sofa (still in our pj's) and plot the next step of our takeover - our farm domination. We'll be the overlords of this place. We'll decide who stays, who goes and who gets hired, what gets built and what gets torn down. We'll look across our property with grand designs in our heads and make plans.
At least until mid-February, when the shackles go back on.