Snow settles on Stonewell Farm. Dust from the woodstove settles on everything inside Stonewell Cottage. Out come the recipes for Andrew’s Venison Bourguinon, the garden produce from the freezer for Michelle’s vegetable curries and the ingredients for eggnog. The chickens cling to their roosts in the coop; the turkey’s too. A huddle of ducks has rooted inside the henpen, heads tucked beneath their wings like stone statues, only occasionally opening an eye to see if its still white out there, as if checking a kitchen timer.
Slogs to the shed, loading wood into fireboxes and unloading fireboxes of ash, replace the routines of weeding, and harvesting, and collecting eggs, of which there are precious few. Jars of salsa that we canned in September are carried up out of the basement, on return trips from the laundry,and nachos and reruns of MI-5 episodes on Netflix punctuate the end of the day. New Yorker articles are finally read. Seed catalogues begin to rise precariously like leggo sets on the edges of available horizontal surfaces and we know, despite what the calendar says, its winter here at Stonewell.