Winter Is Hiding

Winter arrived in October last year. It was last October 21st when our first snow fell. There was a blizzard soon after. Winter entered early, took an extended vacation, then came back with freezing fury after the first of the year.

This year, thankfully, things appear to be going differently. Winter is hiding.

Is Winter Coming?

There was a frost advisory last night, as the overnight low was predicted to be around 35 degrees. Usually, the first sign of winter on the horizon is a good frost.

It was the excuse I needed to go pull what I could from the garden and put it to bed. The problem was I was in town all day long and only had a couple of hours of daylight left once we returned home – during which I also had to cook and eat dinner.

I hurried outside with a few bags, filling one with green tomatoes, another with bell peppers, and a third with the remaining potatoes I dug up.

The pepper plants were so healthy looking, but I knew the cold would stunt any hope of them fruiting anything else. I uprooted them and laid them down on their side in the garden bed in hopes their decay will feed and fertilize that same ground for next year’s bounty.

The tomatoes are also done, but I didn’t uproot them just yet. Their leaves are still enough to deter the chickens from tearing up the earth in my raised bed.

Once everything was harvested, I carried the last of our garden produce inside. If there was going to be a frost, I knew all we had grown would be safe. We threw an extra blanket on our bed, and I was glad for it during the night, as it was definitely chillier.

It turns out, there was no frost overnight. I woke up to a temperature of 35, but no hint of winter on the ground.

Enjoying Fall

The forecast, even for the remainder of October, seems favorable. It will be cool and perfect fall conditions as far as temperature, and winter will most likely not make an appearance.

Winter is hiding, and for now, I’m alright with that.

I’m hoping we have a “normal” winter. Last year, we had the early snow storm and blizzard, and then we didn’t see snow again until Christmas, though it was hardly any. New Year’s Eve, it was 71 degrees outside. Once January hit, the temperatures plummeted and while we had snow a few more times, it was nothing notable.

I’m hoping in early December, and through until the arrival of March, we get a decent amount of snowfall to accompany the cold. For one, we’ll need the moisture come spring. For another, we have yet to experience exciting sledding here at the hilltop homestead.

I’m not hoping for a winter like Laura Ingalls described from 1880/1881. The Long Winter is one I don’t mind reading about, but would prefer not to experience. More snow than we had last winter wouldn’t be a bad thing, though. That’s all I’m saying.

Winter Prep

I’ve got our menu planned out through the end of October. Warm, hearty comfort meals are on deck and it’s definitely soup season. We’ll be adding more soups to our diet as the temperatures continue to dip. It’s the year of broccoli cheese in my book.

The vehicles need to be cleaned inside and out, the chicken coop needs to be winterized, and the hoses need to be rolled up and put away. Hubs mowed for the last time this year, and the patio furniture has been all but retired for the season.

While winter may be hiding today, we know it could surprise us tomorrow. We’ll get things outdoors as situated as possible, switch out the flip flops for the snow boots, and cozy in for the cold season.

Winter might be hiding now, but we’ll be ready for its arrival.

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