Brrr! It is cold today! This seems early for it to be this cold. Are we going to have an early winter? Unfortunately, I am not ready for this.
With a clogged chimney, I cannot build a fire. Even though I finally got the propane wall heater to work, this cabin is still quite chilly! It rained all day yesterday and it is still damp and overcast today. One good thing is that there is some dry wood under a tarp, so when the chimney is cleaned, I will be able to light a fire. This sort of chill makes me want to go back to bed!
A young friend braved the rainy weather on Friday and came to visit. She brought dark chocolate and I had some good espresso coffee, so we sat and visited for hours. Mind you, we did not just eat chocolate. We also had a late lunch of lentils and rice and some sautéed cabbage with onions and homegrown garlic. We did drink a lot of coffee!
As we sat and visited, it rained. It rained all day, and finally subsided about 4:00 p.m. We donned some rain gear and drove over to the garden. I had not been there for at least a day. We picked two bags full of tomatoes, and saw more green tomatoes that will ripen if it warms up this next week. We also harvested some kale, broccoli, basil, thyme, sorrel, and parsley. My friend had to get back home, so she left, having blessed me with her good company for much of the day. She took a bag of veggies with her, and that felt good, to be able to share some of what I grew this season.
All day yesterday, I processed the tomatoes I picked Friday evening, and then I used them in a large pot of salsa. The peppers I roasted made my nose itch, and the scent of cilantro filled the cabin. Despite the chill inside this cabin, knowing I will have more salsa to share with my neighbor warmed me. He says salsa is one of his “food groups,” which is why he has already used three quarts in less than a month. I had four sealed quarts of salsa and a mess in the kitchen sinks by 10:30 p.m. The less I am financially able to run to town to the store, the more I am glad I grew all these tomatoes this year. All the work involved with the production of something to eat seems to not matter.
This coming Saturday a young fellow is coming out to take down some dead trees over at Pope’s, my neighbor. If there is anything one might fear in the winter, it is the possibility of a dead tree falling onto the roof of one of these cabins. He is bringing another man with him, so the job will be finished relatively fast. When I talked to him about how I needed help with my chimney, he said he would come clean it for me. I will not have any cash to pay him but I have canned salsa. I will do some baking as well, and hope he likes zucchini bread. It seems like so little to offer in exchange, but he is a local Newton County boy, born and raised, and genuine in his willingness to help me.
Fall is here, and winter is seemingly just around the corner. I am excited that this coming week I will see my son and his girlfriend. They will drive twelve hours to attend the Yonder Mountain Harvest Festival where they plan to camp out for three nights. There will be at least three stages of live music happening. I plan on going that Friday afternoon and evening. It will be the first time in my life to go to a large festival. I had many opportunities to go to festivals when I lived in Texas but never did. The thought of huge numbers of people all in one place was intimidating. Now I see going to a gathering like this as a chance to run into people I rarely see, and the music is going to be good!
When this festival ends on Sunday morning, my son will be here maybe another day or two. Will he come hang out with me here for a bit? That is my hope, but I have learned: take nothing for granted. He does know I could use help with the hauling in of firewood, and he knows how rough winters here can be. Winter is early this year, so maintaining a good attitude and accepting any generous help with the chores from young, strong fellows, I should get through it. I will get through it, no matter what!