When I think back to my most vivid memories of the homestead — those not triggered by the 2 dimensional aid of a photograph — I can almost feel the goosebumps.
There were moments (ok, hours) of intense cold. That second winter when Joel and I crawled around under the log cabin in February working in 18 in. of space and the smell of cats trying to jam insulation between the floor joists to plug the drafts peirciing the floor in the kitchen.
The sting of sleet while Jordan and I straddled the peak of the addition roof, executing an emergency chimney sweep in December. The last thing we needed was a chimney fire.
The achingly cold water we’d pump from the well into a 50 gallon barrel, one bucket-full at a time, to give ourselves a place to cool off in the baking August heat. (You really had to leave it at least a full day with the lid on in the sun before it was warmed enough.) We would take turns immersing ourselves, then hoisting up over the side of the barrel for the next kid to jump in. Dripping wet, we’d make dark, smacking footsteps on the slate around the pump, rushing to pump another bucket to replace the water displaced from our ‘pool’.