Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Last blast of winter

We’re having one of those last blasts of winter weather. It was 6 below zero when I woke up yesterday. The sun was just peaking over the mountain. It was one of those remarkably clear and cold late winter days. Somehow the low temperatures and wind chill of 20 below zero didn’t seem so bad. I have been reassured daily that spring isn’t far away - the days are getting longer quickly. My pale geranium in my studio is blooming beautifully.

It’s amazing how the amount of sunlight makes me think of things to come. I’ve got to get looking through the seed catalogs, planning the sunflower varieties and thinking about purchasing some new chicks. Last fall we bought a bunch of dahlia tubers from a Vermont farmer and we’re planning to grow them in front of the sunflower field to diversify the selection. We're not sure what we bought - I think they are red, purple and yellow - they are all loosely packed in unmarked sacks in the one little storage room we have in our dirt cellar with a fieldstone foundation. I can’t wait to see how they work out and when they will start blooming.

Our house has lots of small paned windows in it. We were lucky that in the 1950’s an architect named Mr. Britton restored our home. From what I understand, if he hadn't have fixed the place up, it probably wouldn't be standing today. Although our house dates to 1751, the windows were most likely made in the 1950’s. Those were the days when there were custom shops throughout the area. Mr. Britton had beautiful panes of pale colored glass used for the windows. The glass has bubbles and waves in it and can sometimes be disconcerting when you are trying to look out it. But its beauty outweighs this one small problem. We don’t know how old the glass is – if it is a reproduction or genuinely antique but it sure is beautiful.

We did quite a bit of work on our house before we moved in. We weren’t planning to live here for several years. But then things changed and the best choice for our family was to relocate from eastern to western Massachusetts many years before we had planned. I had already started renovating bits of the house and ordered a few windows trying to get them as close in design to the ones that were already in the house. For some silly, unknown to me right now, reason, I ordered french doors with single panes of glass and a window for above my sink with single panes. Perhaps it was a moment of economy - who knows. They match the old style windows pretty well when it is really cold – they look like this - like Jack Frost is living inside our house. It’s kind of magical but I know I am losing heat like crazy. It’s only for a few days a year.

One day, if I ever have enough money, I’ll find some old colored glass and have someone custom make some new windows to replace these. But til then I’ll enjoy the frost.

Yesterday Phoebe, Ness and I took a quick walk. They don’t seem to mind the cold – they were too excited smelling all kinds of wonderful counry scents. I gave up quickly when my nostrils froze together and my cheeks started to sting. I found these turkey tracks not far from our house. Poor bird – I hope she is warm somewhere today. Today it isn’t as windy so I can’t wimp out and disappoint the dogs.


Beth said...

I think your windows might actaully be old ones. Early windows usually had many, small panes of glass because glass was so expensive. Smaller panes were less costly in the first place and could be replaced less expensively if they broke. In any case, they are beautiful.

Marcy said...

Ha! Who better to live in a house with multi-colored windows. :D

And I know for a fact that spring is on the way--the sap buckets are up!

Kathleen C. said...

Beautiful, beautiful windows! And thanks for posting the turkey tracks.

I'm glad the class went so well for you. I teach and I love it. It feeds you just as it serves the students. You share your knowledge and they return the enthusiasm and energy that discovering new things can bring.