Gosh, my heart is just so full of gratitude right now, I just had to share some more. I hope you don’t mind but it spilleth over. Haha!

Wood Stove – I really appreciate having heat. In desperation the other day, I contacted a third local wood provider to beg them to sell me a half of a cord to get us through until Mr. Open Sky’s back was on the mend again. (You can read about our previous adventures in wood here.) These guys were awesome. In less than 24 hours after I had contacted them, I had our Tahoe stuffed to the brim with a half-cord of seasoned firewood cut to about 12″ or so. I am in awe of the generosity and mercy the business showed me. They didn’t have to rearrange their schedule for me, and yet they did for a measly $120. I got home and unloaded it and now we have firewood again for a little while. We could be shivering in the cold, but instead we are nice and toasty. The jury is still out for us on how appropriate this wood stove really is, as we have a lot of issues with it, but it sure is better than other stoves out there and it’s certainly better than nothing at all.

The Snow – again, I love winter. I’m ready for warmer temps but today we got another three inches and it’s so beautiful. I stared and stared at our property and the surrounding land today. I had to keep looking up from my work of shoveling snow and splitting wood to just stare….with a grin on my face. *sigh* The fresh snow brought peaceful quiet to my soul. It covered the ground and grass and trees and softened their lines. The air was even cleaner than normal. AAhhhhh, lovely. As I shoveled the snow, I prayed for no more snow this year, knowing I won’t get my request but I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask, right? It’s beautiful and lovely and yet I am ready for it to be over, even as I can continue to appreciate is awesomeness.

Neighbors – Mr. Open Sky, on his way into work yesterday morning, hit a snow drift (the wind has been a steady 20mph gusting to 35mph which of course caused snowdrifts here and there on the 4+ mile road it takes to get to a paved road). The snow was so deep it pulled the Tahoe off into the frozen muskeg. It was so deep that he couldn’t even open the driver’s door and had to climb over the console and into the passenger side. Since it was just past six in the morning, he started the mile-and-a-half walk back home to grab a shovel. Passing through our neighbor’s land, she was actually outside and woke her sick husband Josh up to come yank the Tahoe free with his own truck. Josh didn’t have to do that. He’s sick. He was asleep. It was by-now seven in the morning and dark out. And yet, he did – and asked for nothing in return. Wow. Neighborly neighbors are awesome.

Dry(ish) Cabin – You may remember that our neighbors Nick and Josh put the plywood up for our second-story roof around Christmas. What a blessing. While our first floor does drip here and there when it rains or snows or gets above freezing, it’s nothing, I mean nothing, compared to what we had going on before they did that. Someday we’ll have all four walls up up there, but it’s still sooo much better. We get to stay dry(ish) for the most part.

Little Girl – Our daughter is 4-1/2 years old and is our miracle baby, in that it took us almost 15 years to conceive her. She is the product of much prayer, tears, and frustration. She is also a source of great joy and laughter for us. She has an incredible sense of humor and always surprises me with it. She is artistic and creative. She is still a four-year-old. She’s frustrating, irritating, bossy, and requires things to be a “certain way”. And yet, she is fun, loving, a great helper, and she’s ours.

Little Girl stacking firewood

One of my good friends in Spokane has two kids about my girl’s age and she always inspires me with stories and pictures of the wonder of toddlers/preschoolers. It seems whenever I forget the goodness of my kid, my friend shares her life with her “twin tornadoes” (as she calls them) and it helps to remind me that I also have a great kid, even if life was different before her. It was neither better nor worse, but it was different. I can truly appreciate and be thankful for her today.

At least for this day today, a heart of gratefulness continues to chase the winter blues away.