Its the time of year that mother nature fires warning shots across the bow of your tranquil farm skiff. She tests you for battle with winter. Usually during the first warning shot we run around frustrated and kicking ourselves for not having certain projects done, and cursing when something freezes, doesn't work, or that you ate sh#t while walking to your car. You curse when your feet are cold, and your boots are wet, or that your clothing is sub par, or your barn is not ready for your animals. Mother nature has a tendency to back off after the first warning shot. Which leaves us hustling around in better weather trying to get things in order. Buy boots, stack hay, insulate milk house, cut and stack wood, buy extra wood, get new socks, switch fencing, and re locate chickens and the bull calves. By the second warning shot, you feel a bit better, and by the third it could be winter.
Snap shots run though my head of horrific winters, and not so bad winters, some that were memorable, and some that sucked. As I use my mental farm check list of lessons learned to access our preparedness for the coming winter, I come up with a favorable two thumbs up. The wood is in the shed, the barn is stuffed with hay, functional boots on our feet, a freezer full of beef, a basement with barrels of kraut and kim chi, and an easy way to feed and keep our animals clean. However, on the list of lessons learned is this one: you are never totally ready, and it may suck like it or not. There is no getting around that one, except with a resignation letter to the small farm gods, an "I quit" to the current bosses, and a plane ticket with no return to a far away country near the equator.