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December everything

2016 December 19
by Rachel Turiel

The days have shrunk into these tiny blips that blur past while the dark time stretches on forever. Col and Rose start indoor soccer at 7:05 am, slamming the ball against our kitchen cabinets while I talk my nervous system down from the ledge. Give them ten hours of sleep and they rise like a sled dog team aching to run. Rose guards her goal in a velveteen ball gown (2nd costume change of the morning) and Col is in the same clothes he’s been wearing for the past century.

7:33: sword fights with pool noodles. 

Breakfast is elk sausage, winter squash and kale. So apparently is lunch. Entertainment is watching robins bobbing for crab apples. We fervently root for the red breasted birds, whose score is nab one, drop two.

Then we have a family pool to guess “When will the first magpies arrive for roadkill scraps on the shed roof?”  Rose wins with 7:48 am on the dot. And at 7:53 am the sun crawls over Raider Ridge. We watch the chickens run indignantly through the snow to the compost pile. This is all the big news.

Next, Col and Rose are on the couch wrestling, limbs and grunts flying. Then like a retreating tide, they funnel back into their shared room and crank the radio up to 11. They’ve found the teenager station and they love it with a ferocity that amuses and scares me. Nothing makes me feel more elderly than the thoughts I have trying to decipher lyrics of the latest pop phenomenon.

Greenhouse wealth

Dan has purchased 30 raw deer hides from a local processor (Dan’s work is either carpentry or hide tanning, depending on who’s asking) and left this text on my phone recently, driving home from a window-installation job, “Got a doe in the back of the car. Stopping for a few groceries. Home by 5pm.” You know, the usual. Yesterday he chased a rogue black dog for 5 blocks who had snuck into our yard and pilfered some scraps of that very doe. Dan’s pretty sure its the same dog who stole a whole buck hide from him several years ago. Which is to say, the war is on.

Board game side events.

Despite all the other things that lately seem like really big news, apparently Christmas is still happening. Though I’m still waiting for my kids to renounce all material goods for the sake of true happiness, Col caresses the Lego catalogue and Rose delivers soliloquies which start at 6am on why she’d love a particular new sweater she spied downtown.

“What if instead of that one sweater that you’ve seen, you could have three sweaters which would each be a surprise?” I ask her with thrift store stars in my eyes. She acquiesces with one caveat, “no yellow.”

Baby Therapy: cheap and highly effective:

Also cheap and highly effective: Dog Therapy! Especially when the dog will let you drape a pink bathrobe over her on a cold, snowy day.

The lipstick has something to do with the teenager station.

Besides indoor soccer, repetitive breakfasts, and teenage radio, we’re reading. I read Cannery Row for the first time and am still reeling over John Steinbeck’s literary genius. I read a lot of the funny parts to Col. The book is mostly about some hobos who want to throw a party for the town doctor. On page 31 is the most gorgeous and horrifying description of an anenome catching its prey.

The Meadow by James Galvin is another book without a ton of plot, but filled with characters who are so wedded to their land on the Colorado/Wyoming border, their lives are inextricable from it. I’ve loved this book all three times I’ve read it.

I’m reading The Hobbit to the kids and we are all loving it so much. I think we all feel a little like Bilbo Baggins right now, whisked off on this political journey, divesting from our corporate banks and trying to understand how to communicate with the trolls and orcs, when maybe part of us is wishing we could just stay home and watch the robins and magpies all day.

With Big Love to you all,

Rachel

 

Related posts:

Good idea #2: Weekly family meetings
homestead happenings: the very small fan club
The need to know


4 Responses leave one →
  1. Ellen permalink
    December 19, 2016

    You don’t post very often, but when you do it is very special. Thank you for this wonderful glimpse into your lives.

  2. Becky permalink
    December 20, 2016

    been missing your posts and then when I came over to check on you guys realized I must have been dropped off your email list – so I am resigned! Love all your posts. Bet you are in cold country while NC is having a few what we call freezing days of 50’s

  3. Susan S permalink
    December 22, 2016

    Just picked up The Meadow from the library today on your recommendation. I always enjoy your book reviews!

    • Susan S permalink
      December 29, 2016

      Just finished The Meadow. Soooo very beautiful. It’s almost like a cross between Ivan Doig, especially This House of Sky, and Annie Proulx. Lyrical, nonlinear, perfectly descriptive of the harsh life. Thanks for the recommendation!

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