Light weight and light colored clothes to the back. Heavy darks to the front. Blankets out to air, thin covers to the laundry. Gloves from the closet shelf, lined caps and hats on the hall stand. Sweaters unfolded and allowed to hang and unwrinkle. Boots checked for water resistance and treated.
Outside, the deck furniture gets cleaned and stacked. Covers to keep them that way appear from the storage chests against the side of house. Final cuts of the paths around the fields and the large grassy areas near the buildings. Gutters cleaned and checked.
At the outdoor furnace the woodshed gets refilled. Trees stacked last Spring become short logs ready for the splitter. Snow blades get cleaned and checked and ready for mounting. Tire chains for truck and tractor are repaired and ready to roll.
The rhythm of winter strums in the air. The gardens slow and stop producing. Leaves begin to turn and then to drop, coating the land and manmade surfaces with orange and red and brown that crunch when dry, are slippery after a rain. Those fruits and vegetables we have finally harvested after the short, late-blooming summer slow in growth, fail to finish, must be pulled and composted to prepare for the next growing season.
Spring is so far away, but it will come. Still, we feel we’ve missed the summer that, when we were young felt long and short at the same time. This year it has been all too short. Our compatriots in the west would have loved our rain, but we felt cheated by the seasons. The slowness of summer is giving way too quickly to the tedium of winter, and we aren’t so happy about that.
The rhythm of winter beats slowly.