Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Winter Days.

Another winter has begun in South Africa. Cold days have arrived again with icy nights and pouring rain. It is a cold, dark time of year. The birds don’t sing and the sky stays dark for hours during the day. Nights are longer, days are shorter and a lot of your time and energy is spent keeping warm.

But come with me, friend, to the Gray Homestead and see what is happening here on a typical day in Winter...

I curl up in my bed at night, Izzie tucked up beside me as my hot water bottle and try to relax but my feet never seem to warm up...when they do I am fast asleep. All too soon I am awakened by the shrilling of the bedside alarm clock at six thirty – another day to be thankful for – “but Lord it is freezing and I don’t want to get out from under my toasty covers!” I cry.

Izzie, my JRT pup keeping cosy under the stove. What a life...

Somehow I make it through that first and awful hour of the day. Nancy and I wake up at six thirty which is the time Dad leaves for work, so we have to literally spring out of bed to catch him before he goes. It is probably best not to linger anyway...

I get warm quickly by starting the wood stove – I have to chop the wood into small pieces so that the fire will take faster. If I am up really early, Mom and I might chat a bit about the day ahead of us; things we’d like to do or try and about each other. Most of the time Rebekah and Sofia are awake and playing in Mom’s bed.

Rebekah age three and Sofia 8 months playing together in the bed this morning...what bliss.

After getting dressed (hurriedly) Nancy and I brave the outside world to the milking pen. We greet Molly (the cow) with a friendly “hello” and begin to milk. For the first time in our lives, we have experienced frost – we discovered the poor dandelion leaves were furry with frost when we took Molly to the field on Monday morning!

Cattle grazing in the field below our house this morning. Look at the mist!

Back inside with a pail of frothing milk, I strain it and pour it into a big jar. Everyone runs around to finish last minute pre-breakfast chores and then we eat. Oh yes. Breakfast time is when I can just relax and put the icy morning behind me...

Our view from the dining room window.

But housework keeps you warm. There is satisfaction found in the washing of dishes, feeding of guinea pigs, dogs and cats and even in tidying-up or sweeping. We start school when everyone is ready – it may take us a while to get done, but then we have a whole day ahead of us.

Sometimes it rains, other times the sun braves the cold and we can go outside and thaw a bit before lunch. The little girls play in the sand-pit, Izzie gets her morning training session with me and Nancy and Mom usually sit at the sand-pit and chat. Sofia is somewhere among the happy party.

Now and again Nancy will put Sofia in the pouch and walk with me.

Somehow the rest of the day gets eaten up in a matter of minutes...or does it? I never know where it goes, but when I look again it is time for an afternoon walk. I can’t describe the delight a walk in the crisp winter sunshine gives me. (I walk each day, rain or shine unless something REALLY hinders my going) I walk alone on the farm so I can think and be quiet. Izzie tags along for some (much needed) exercise. When I return, I greet daddy who has just arrived home from work.  He and mom usually enjoy a cup of coffee together to chat about their day, then dad goes off to chop wood and start the 'donkey' (our hot water system) and plant a tree/shrub/plant or dig up another vegetable bed, while mom supervises evening chores and dinner preparation.

Supper is eaten together as a family. I prepare half the meals each week – it is wonderful way for me to ‘potter’ in the kitchen doing what I enjoy most – cooking! Plus I have the opportunity to try new dishes:)

What a wonderful way to end the day – a home-cooked meal of Moussaka made by me:)

And so the evening wears on with dishes that need to be washed and little girls who need to get ready for bed. Then comes the special time...Some nights Mom, Nancy and I sew or cardmake while on other (rare) occasions we hire a movie. Most of the time Nancy and I either work on the computer or read a good book.

Snuggling up for the night is for me the most pleasant part of my day. I feel good that I achieved a lot of what I set out to do and that everyone is happy and warm under their blankets.

I send a prayer up to Jesus, talk to Him about my day and ask Him to be with those less fortunate than us. He has given my family so much that I can only praise Him.

What is a day in your life like?



Unknown said...

thats sooooooo beautiful Kelly!!
love Kaelah

Kelly-Anne said...

Thank you Kaelah! Have a wonderful day:)

Lots of love, Kelly

Kaelah Michelle said...

Hi Kelly...... I started my own blog as sunflower was for our stories only.... here is mine...

i hope you like it......