I really hate how practicality sometimes trumps idealism. I especially dislike it when it happens at Christmas time.
This year, practicality suggested we take down our Christmas decorations a day early.
Michelle’s weekend ended Monday evening, January 5th. Our Christmas season ended on Epiphany/Twelfth Night, Tuesday, January 6th.
Traditionally, we take down our tree and put away our Christmas decorations on the last day, but if we followed that schedule this year, I would have had to pack it all away alone. I could do it, but besides being a lonely, bleak way to end what had been a particularly joyous holiday season, it would be really difficult to get the totes of decorations up into our loft alone. It’s a cramped, precarious operation, best performed by many hands.
So, practicality won out as it inevitably must here on our “homestead.” We packed it all up, leaving one tote handy to take our Christmas mugs and the two strings of lights we left on the cabin till the 7th.
After we’d put it all away, we decided to engage in a classic post-holiday blues-fighting activity: we rearranged the cabin (see the old set up in the post, A Tour of the Zeiger Homestead Cabin). After a lot of thought, we realized this may be the first time we’ve rearranged the furniture since we first moved it all into the cabin! We put the sofa in front of the living room large front window, and put the table in its former place under the small front window. It’s new and exciting, and seems like it might work well for us.
The morning of the 6th we got a wake up call of sorts, a reminder that we need to return to the every day: the water system froze. Michelle turned on the tap and watched it dribble away to nothing. We heated some water already on hand, filled a couple of hot water bottles, and headed up to the winter water tank. When we opened it up, I saw that I only thought I’d insulated the gate we’d installed last summer! (See Improvements to the Water System.)
This revelation bothered me, but also encouraged me. Far better to freeze up because the insulation wasn’t there, than to have insulated it and still frozen! We packed our water bottles into the box, and within a few minutes of returning to the cabin, we had water again. We grabbed our insulation and ran back up the hill to pack the box with it, as I should have done in the early autumn at the latest. No further problems.
With that, we turn from the sacred and return to the profane, the every day. As usual, we’re reinvigorated, rededicated, and ready to move forward.