Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice/Christmas at the farm-

We drove the 77 miles to my parent's home today.  My sister from Maryland and her children arrived yesterday to spend a few days.  The weather was frightful!  It was -4 F with wind gusts to 40 mph during the drive down.  We didn't have much snow yesterday, maybe only 2 inches, but with the layer of ice on the ground what was there didn't stay put.  The highway was clear but there were occasional patches of near white out conditions.

My parent's farm off to the right.
When we got off the highway onto the gravel road where my parents live, things rapidly deteriorated.  The road was a sheet of ice. It wasn't too bad except for the S curve where the road crosses a creek so it's a sloping curve.  We went VERY slowly.
Boys sliding down the icy hill.
We had a high of 4 F with continued dangerous windchills but that didn't stop the boys from going out to play.  My parents had about half an inch of ice on Thursday night and the ice over snow is thick enough to support even an adult's weight.  The boys had fun sliding down the icy hill in the barnyard.  The barn was built on my parent's farm in 1876, before that it had been a mill and was taken apart piece by piece, labeled, hauled by train and wagon and reassembled on the family farm. The farm has been in the family since the mid 1800s.
We didn't let the boys stay out for more than 20 minutes at a time, even with snowsuits because it was THAT cold.  When they came in it was time to open gifts.  My family is pretty sane when it comes to gift giving.  I gifted my niece and nephew with 'Cookies in a jar'. My sister and brother (who was sick and didn't make it) got a jar of cookie mix, a pint of applebutter and a jar of green tomato- apple chutney.  My sister was pleased.  For my parents:  we gave them a gift of bees from Heifer Project.  They really don't need anything- and I've already gifted them with chutney (my Mom cans more than I do so most canned items aren't a treat for her).  We also gave them an IOU for beef when we get our side of beef in January.
J14 looks at gifts, my sister Joyce and my Dad in the background.
My parents got cookbooks for all their grandchildren except K8.  He got edible treats since my Mom didn't think he is quite ready for a cookbook yet.  The boys got kits to learn magic tricks from my sister and J14 got hair accessories.  My parents gave V a new LED flashlight with rechargeable batteries and my Mom gave me a counted cross stitch picture she had made of cardinals in the snow.  I tried to get a photo but the glass in the frame created too much glare.
Like I said, my family tends to be pretty sane with gifts.  I just wish I could sat the same about V's family. 
We ate enough food for about a week.  Since it is  Winter Solstice today we ended up leaving earlier than I would have liked but we wanted to get back before dark due to the bad road conditions.
I need to get to my independence days post at some point soon.  At least spending time with family for a celebration helped lift my spirits a little.  I'm just dreading boing back to work tomorrow.  Maybe I'll sweet talk V to see if he can give me a ride in the morning.  There is a windchill advisory and blizzard warning still in effect. They're calling for windchills into the -30's F again tomorrow morning.  I really don't want to walk a mile and a half in that.

Blessed Solstice to all.  The days will be getting lighter again.  I can't wait to feel the warm sun on my face again and the dirt between my fingers and toes.


  1. We cancelled our holiday gathering yesterday due to the roads being bad here in MN, but they were probably better than your drive was! It looks like you had a nice gathering.

  2. Judy-sounds like you had a nice christmas with your family! What a wonderful history on your family's old barn. The weather will be better after today! Kris

  3. Very pretty farm - even though it was cold! Sounds great that you all have a "realistic" Christmas - and spending time with the family is the most important, right?

  4. Lisa, I hope you can reschedule your family gathering. I think it's so important to maintain those family ties, especially in the world to day.
    Kris and Kris (how weird is that) I love the farm. I just wish it was closer to my day job. Neither my husband or I could find comparable positions down there but I hate the thought of the farm going out of the family since neither my brother or either sister are interested. We're looking for an acreage but aren't ready to take on an entire small family farm. Someday I'll have to post more photos of the barn. I hope to get it on the historic register someday. You can still see the writing on some of the crossbeams where it was labeled in german for reassembly. It is all hand hewn beams and pretty spectacular inside. Of course, it is a farm barn and full of lots of junk.


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.