Now that autumn is here in full swing, it is time to begin preparing the farm for winter. In the process of preparing Hillside for months of freezes and snow, we have a basic checklist for the property. It looks like this:
- Inspect the roof and checking the gutters.
- Winterize the air conditioner and clean the furnace filter.
- Put away ceramic pots that might freeze if left outdoors.
- Trim back the bushes, shrubs, and trees on the property.
- Plant bulbs for the spring.
- Check the generator to make sure it is in good working order.
- Load up on firewood.
- Put away our outdoor furniture that might get ruined in the snow.
- Make sure the chimneys are cleaned.
By taking care of these details, we protect the property from weather-induced damage and lay the foundation for a much easier spring. A little work now saves a lot of work later!
Meanwhile, I love adding seasonal touches to the interior of the house to make it feel warm and inviting as the outside weather becomes increasingly uncomfortable. I keep spicy smelling candles burning and make sure there are plenty of warm rugs on the floor and cozy throws by the couches. I find myself making more soups and stews instead of salads and sandwiches. By the end of October, we’ll have fires in all the fireplaces burning throughout the day and into the evening. They help heat the old home, but more importantly, they are beautiful. I love sitting in front of my fire, reading, or catching up on email. This is also the season when I use up all my apples from the orchard in a hundred different recipes, from turnovers to cake to pie. We eat a lot of apples at my house!
Little “extras” help us know that time is still moving, and some things will not change, like apples, the scent of mulled cider, and the love of family. Because this year has been so different than any other year, the time and thought spent making the inside of your home feel “different” seasonally can help lift everyone’s spirits. I know it sounds simple, but the truth is that putting a wreath on your front door or turning on the Charlie Brown Christmas Album can bring genuine intrinsic joy, even during 2020.