Winter Ė itís right here in our laps, and itís been stuck here since Thanksgiving week. No let-up, no January Thaw, no strange warm breezes other than the hot air that spews from our office folks. Winter.
Weíre in Maine. We embrace winter. We long for it during those pathetic, insect-ridden off months known as Spring, Summer, and Fall in some parts of this great land, though we seem to squeeze all 3 of those seasons into eight weeks of hard sledding up this way. Weíre Mainers. We have the hats, gloves, britches, long underwear, fleece vests, wool socks, sock liners, and snow machine suits to help us ignore the temperature. At the gas station when you get to the cash register you canít help but notice all the cool lighters, air fresheners with NASCAR drivers on them, e-cigs, corncob pipes, key chains, and lucky coins that are sold there, but our eyes often focus on the HotHands Ė miraculous little packets that, when removed from their wrapper, magically heat up soís you can put them in your gloves or shove the blessed things into your boots or just do like Charlie and drop them right down the front of your drawers (not recommended). We know how to get through Winter. We just donít know how to get through THIS Winter.
Maybe itís just me. Maybe itís my age. In February I turned 117. Well, it seems that way. I walk all hunched over, my legs are so sore I almost checked myself into the clinic to ask if theyíd be able to remove my nerves from both legs. Just yank em out. My head hurts. My arms are killing me. Is it age, or is it the fact that last night, until about 9pm, I scraped and chiseled and scraped and banged and scraped about four inches of crusty, ice-ridden frozen armor off of the driveway over at the Barton Farm? Maybe itís both. Bottom line? Here it is: This Winter is a test.
The last several winters up Maine way have been on the mild side. If I remember correctly, last Winter I ran the Frozen Precipitation Relocater (snow blower) only four times. The Winter before that it was three times. This Winter I ran that thing so many times in early December the gasket blew out of the carburetor bowl so hard that it almost broke Window Pane 16-7 in the Trunk Storage Barn. Itís still stuck there. That was the first week in December, and I donít think the engine on that thing has cooled down all the way since then. Fix it, run it, fix it, run it, and on and on. A snow blower will heave snow just so far, and you can determine that distance, at our place, by the positioning of a new mountain range that none of us recall as having been there in the dooryard last Fall.
Itís a test. Are we really Mainers? Do we really smile like those maddeningly attractive folks you see all through the latest LL Bean catalog? Smile as we scrape the windshield for the 123rd morning in a row? Smile as we lug another load of cordwood down cellar to the wood stove thatís been keeping us toasty since late September? Smile as we strap on the snowshoes for yet another trek through the woods out back, to clean out wood duck nesting boxes? Well, yes, that one does make us smile. Again, this Winter is a test.
Tonight weíre supposed to have temperatures right around zero degrees in our part of Maine. Maybe a few degrees below zero, but what difference does it make? Cold is cold. At some point over the weekend they tell us to expect to top 30 degrees F. If we can get to 32.1 then those maple trees that mark the property line along the stone wall will activate their roots, sending the signal to force water upward and branchward, and sugaring season will be underway at last. Bring it on. At this point, 32 degrees sounds like one heck of a heat wave.
Well, I guess Iím not Mr. Rosey Outlook today, for which I apologize. Fact is, I know whatís coming. It starts like a trickle, and then grows to a flood. The return of Tourist Season upcountry. Once our ponds and lakes thaw itís usually not long before summer cabins and camps get opened up, aired out, and readied for the season. You know when this time of year has arrived Ďcause you canít buy a mouse trap anywhere. Theyíre gone. Next thing you know you canít drive on Route 1 on account of all the cars, and then the restaurants fill up and the best camp sites are taken and thereís no more Moose Tracks ice cream over at the Dairy TeePee and before you know it we all start wishing Winter would move back into place. What a cycle.
Thanks for letting me get that off my mind. Been managing to keep warm through much of this winter by doing Aerobic Box Taping, so thanks to all of you whoíve been wandering the web site, stocking your shelves. Greatly appreciated, I hope you know that. Some new stuff is here; thought you should know about it, so here comes the sales pitch.
Sunrise Wigwam has always been our top selling leather. Itís naturally rustic looking, a wonderful reddish-brown color, has some pull-up to it, and the darned stuff even smells great. Over the past decade weíve gotten WigWam in stock, then sold it out, then gotten it back again. This latest batch was a whopper, so we should be good for a bit. Itís there, sold by the half-hide, on our ĎSide LeathersĒ page. Donít need an entire side? No problem, we also got in (today) double shoulders of the same leather. See the Double Shoulders page for those. Great way to save some money. Back on the Sides page, by the way, we also got in Crazy Horse in a heavy side leather, waxy and waterproof; this is a wonderful leather. While youíre there, also take a look at Pit Row, Black Bart, and Black Tag Ė three nice side leathers that are all blacker then the inside of a moose. Hereís a link to our Leather Hides page; you can jump from there to the Sides or Double Shoulders pages:
Where are our Purple People? You know who you are. Check out the Purple Boot Laces on the Leather Laces page. Screaming purple boot laces, 72Ē long, available in pairs, groups of 10, or bundles of 100. We love how well purple leather does for us on the site. Itís like a sub-culture thing. Either youíre into purple or youíre not. If youíre not, maybe you should still take a look at our laces Ė several new colors are in stock and just waiting to be poked through eyelets or wrapped around walking sticks or strung around necks. They have that look about them.
Would you look at that Ė itís Friday. Howíd that happen? These weeks just sort of float on downriver. Under the ice, I mean. Itíll be April before we know it and then there can only be about, what? Five or six more weeks of Winter? Yikes.
Thanks for reading and for visiting our site-
Corporate Literature Department Co-Chair
Brettuns Village, Inc.
"Hey, hold it down, please - I'm trying to get some naps over here"
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