Loosened from the mud, I find myself floating in a world of possibility.

So can you.

heat waves and a January thaw

The snow was wet and packed because the temps warmed to above freezing causing snow melt. The paths between the trailer and the Jeep, between the wood pile and the firepit melted and got icy as the sun rose high in the sky and went down into night. I was overheated from all the wood chopping, from all the layers of fleece and wool. I drank loads of tea which warmed me from the inside. I was in my big snow boots for most of the weekend.

We heard wolves off in the distance, far enough away that I just kept chopping wood. I'm getting better with chopping. Sometimes it feels like I'm slicing through butter. That resounding crack as a big log splits is something I've come to yearn for on the drive to the woodland retreat. The smooth slide of the axe as it cuts through the grain of the wood is something I crave to feel through my fingers.

I had to ask myself why I was so into chopping wood. It is a weight loss plan. I chop until my muscles are soar and my back is aching, then I take a break, drink some tea, after which I return to my task. This weekend I chopped enough wood for two weekends. Dave's plotting to get another load for me to split.

I find myself talking to a lot of people about chopping wood. Do I hope to impress them? Maybe. Am I seeking a kindred spirit? Certainly I get excited when I encounter another woman who knows a bit about chopping. I think of that ongoing debate raging between working moms and stay-at-home moms. I don't know where I fit it. I am neither and both. And, I offer an example to my daughter of a woman who chops woods, something I've wanted to do ever since I watched Caroline Ingalls on television.

Not being able to easily chop wood was a hurdle for me. I've never spent much time out there without Dave. In the few instances where I went with a friend, I had Dave shop wood for me in advance, then was burdened with rationing out the wood so as not to run out. The situation is all different right now and now I can picture weekends out there with the little lotus bud and just myself, for a few hours or a day until daddy joins us. I'm getting a better sense of how life will be when the little one starts school. We'll need to make the most of her time away from school and that is going to require that I take some matters into my own hands.

How did this post become all about chopping wood? The weekend also had sparklers, chemicals that lit the fire in blue and green (the result of a stop at a fireworks store - Wisconsinites sure love their fireworks), hot pink yarn for knitting and snow castles. There was also lots of cuddles and smooching, hugs and getting cozy under the blankets. All the best of a January thaw!