Home of the Bellingwood Series – Nammynools

Winter is Coming

TB sleepingCrazy cold showing up in November. Poor TB is frustrated because I won’t let him go outside. He sits on the table at the front window, looking with yearning at the outside he loves so much. I can’t let him go out, even though I would love to give him the freedom he desires. He’s trying to be good, but I’m looking forward to rising temperatures beginning tomorrow. I love how cute he is when he curls up to sleep, but I think he’s had more than he really wants.

I was sleeping and that flash kept going off. Stop it!
I was sleeping and that flash kept going off. Stop it!

I love cold weather, but this stuff is nuts. At least I have heat and indoor plumbing these days. There were plenty of times when our family came to the cabin and that wasn’t always real … at all. Maybe my intense love for piles of blankets comes from those days when we were either playing outside all bundled up or snuggled in under blankets.

We didn’t often come up in the middle winter, but every once in a while Dad would pack us all up in the van and we would escape to a place where there was no telephone or television or for that matter, no toilet or no central heat.

March 1965 - I was five and Carol would have been nearly three. Jamie was a baby.
March ’65 – I was 5, Carol nearly 3 and Jim a baby.

The little trailer that Dad first put on the land, back in 1964 has a wonderful story. He’d spent money to purchase the land, but needed a place for us to live when we came up and it had to be cheap. He talked to a man who laughingly told Dad he had an amazing deal, thinking Dad would have nothing to do with it. For those of you who knew Dad, you knew how easy it was to tease him. He was so susceptible to it and loved it all. This friend of Dad’s set him up. The cheap trailer that Dad ended up purchasing had once belonged to a prostitute.

Mom's father, Mac, pulling the rope to our bell up on the hill.
Mom’s father, Mac, pulling the rope to our bell up on the hill.

There were mirrors everywhere. We kids loved it. We’d play in the hallway of that trailer enjoying our reflections in the closet doors. The trailer didn’t have much heat and when we were there in cold weather, the oven warmed that small home.

We hated having to go to the bathroom, because there wasn’t any indoor plumbing either. The outhouse wasn’t that far from the trailer, but it was far enough that you didn’t want to take that walk in the middle of the night. We would do nearly anything to avoid it. Heck, we hated using it in the summer time. Dad stored tons of stuff in there, including barbed wire. I hated trying to avoid that when I sat down.

Frank Bells Dell 1979Dad finally built an insulated cabin and although he didn’t install a furnace, the Franklin stove made use of the unlimited supply of wood that was found on the land. He and my brother spent hours and hours chopping up downed trees and splitting logs to keep us warm. As wonderful as the stove always was, it took a solid twenty-four hours to warm the place up so you could exist anywhere outside the immediate vicinity of its flame.

The thing about coming up to the cabin in the winter is that there is no more beautiful place on earth. A pasture filled with perfectly smooth snow, trees laden with white, a red wooden fence casting shadows.

Bell's Dell blizzard 10-23-10-1I’ve gotten older and winter doesn’t hold the same appeal for me that it did when I was a child, but even as I huddle inside with my poor, confined kitty cat, wrapped in blankets, I still look forward to the beauty of a meadow covered in smooth, perfect snow and sparkling flakes in the trees, lit by a winter sun.

Just let me stay inside, okay?


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