The temperatures outside are expected to dip below freezing tonight. The wind is whipping the tree limbs in to chaotic sillouettes all over our land. The sound of the wind is whistling through every crack and crevice in our old farmhouse. The sound of heaters running throughout the house is the reminder of the ongoing competition to take the edge off of the stiff cold breeze hitting our home like loud ocean waves running ashore.
It’s exhilarating for both The Outdoorsman and me. We absolutely love everything about this crazy, wild weather that has hit our Central Texas farm. Earlier today, I ran inside the house amid barking puppies, changed quickly out of my work clothes, pulled on some warm clothes, and ran outside to feed and water our menagerie of animals. It was a little more calm than normal because, as of yesterday, our sheep have found a new home in a vineyard two hours away. I am relieved they have a warm, new place to reside out of the steady wind and rain since they were booted out of their corral when our most recent piglets were born months ago at Green Acres. Something less to worry about on this cold and rainy day at the farm.
The things I am thinking about on this blustery day are many. For our animals, we must face this weather headlong for a while to make sure they are warm and comfortable. Over the weekend, The Outdoorsman delivered hay to all of our pig pens and corrals to keep the pigs warm and cozy for the next couple of days. We made sure everything is stocked up with food and water to create body heat with the calories consumed. Tonight, I played with our puppies and took them on a long walk to get their blood flowing before the cold weather kicks in later tonight. I added some extra hay in the barn floor for our older dogs if they want to stay inside for the night. The only thing not getting extra attention tonight are the donkeys and the cows. The cows, The Outdoorsman reminds me frequently, are especially made for the cold weather with their extra thick hides designed to withstand snow and freezing temperatures. I have learned to trust his wisdom concerning animals during times like this.
As I walked around our pastures tonight feeding animals and placing hay around in certain areas, the winds were blowing the hay and my hair as if they were weightless. They were both swirling around like leaves in the wind as I carried food and even live animals to where they belonged. The only respite from the wild winds I experienced was in the brief moments I stepped into the feed room or the hay barn to put food in large red buckets for our animals. I would then head right back into the winds to deliver food and hay to various locations.
After I fed the animals, I walked around our pastures and ponds watching the puppies wrestle all along the way. This time, I was prepared for the winds and cold with The Outdoorsman’s hunting jacket and gloves. They kept my body warm and dry as I wandered around our pastures with our dogs. As I was walking, it was wonderful to feel the cold wind hit my face. For me, cold weather has always been invigorating and exciting. I love the way it makes me feel and love to be outside exploring on cold days. Just as I was finishing up with the feeding, The Outdoorsman meandered slowly up our driveway with headlights already turned on due to the rapidly approaching sunset.
Just last week, I told The Outdoorsman I wanted to experience “just one more” cold winter without central heat so I can experience that “camping feeling” in our old farmhouse one last time before we have a new HVAC system installed. Now, only a week or two into the cold spell, I am second-guessing my decision. The sharp winds are beating against our home at 20 miles per hour and it is cold. Really cold. I’m not miserable by any means, but it is definitely cold throughout the house. It actually feels pretty exciting to me to be out here in the middle of nowhere with the wind beating on the house and creeping under doors and through cracks. For some reason, hearing the winds beat so loudly on our house reminds me of my smallness in the scheme of life. It reminds me of God and His incredible power and how overwhelming His power is in comparison to my small life here on earth.
As I think of the approaching season and the special moments I am anticipating in the coming months, I am thankful. Thankful for this season of my life spent on our farm. Thankful for the family and friends we will be visiting with in the coming weeks. Thankful for special new friends and a wonderful new community to embrace here in Central Texas. Thankful for old friends we left behind in Houston and others whom I have walked through life with over the years. Thankful for children who are healthy and happy and living life to its fullest. Thankful for a loving husband who works hard to build a life and home for us at Green Acres. Thankful for the beauty God has created all around us at every turn. Just thankful all around.