20th of January, 2012
My deepest desire is that this letter finds you all healthy and in good spirits. We are, at present, quite well and bearing the winter as bravely as can be expected. Temperatures have dropped into the single digits only to reach highs in the 50's days later.
Winter continues to wet the land with a variety of precipitation, unable to decide on the proper temperature for it's assault on my little valley. It is premature to hear any tiding of Spring's preparation to begin her journey from the deep south toward our home here in the north country. As much as I long for the first signs of her return, I can't help but lose myself in the beauty of the white, frosty boughs and blanketed fields. Almost as if they call to me to come out to play. With sadness I realize I can no longer steel myself against the frigid temperatures as I did in my younger days. Alas, I fear I shall do more admiring from the warmth of the fire than venturing into the wonderland itself. I laugh aloud as I realize I won't be able to resist the call entirely and will take quick advantage of any warming that comes our way.
The post has just arrived bringing yet another beautifully illustrated seed catalogue for me to peruse. The weather outside is quite blustery and I feel blessed to sit inside, by the fire, sipping spicy tulsi tisane, while I dream of spring gardens filled with bushy, aromatic herbs and colorful vegetables. Neat, tidy rows of lettuce in yellows, greens and rosy reds. Tall hollyhocks and sunflowers looming over the not so little girls who read in the solitude of houses walled by their lofty blooms. Berries hanging sweetly from brambles and melons ripening on beds of straw. Tall teepee's of pole beans hanging heavy with pods make for a quick hideaway from the sun's heat.
How quickly my mind has changed direction!
I must find more paper and begin to make lists and sketches of my thoughts before they are lost!
Have you made any garden plans this year? Pray, tell me all about them in your next correspondence. I long to hear from you. Please inform me of all your adventures and the family's outings as I pine for stories from town. Have you been to any evening parties since the holidays? We've been much at home aside from the theater which often requires much of our time but we do enjoy it so!
I shall take the liberty of using names to portray our family and acquaintances from the meandering wit of our dear friend Lady Morewit, whose chronicles always bring me much delight.
Miss Indianna and her beau, Mr. Merritop, will be among the leads in the upcoming presentation of
The Importance of Being Ernest here in our small theater.
Miss Woodwise will have a leading role in her university production of The 39 Steps coming soon to the Tower.
Mr. Woodwise is making plans for a new smoke house to begin his adventure in charcuterie. Alas, we were unable to harvest venison this past season so we may have to find another source of meat for the coming year. Perhaps his new interest in traditional preservation will help stretch our pantry and coffers further. We've plans for fresh trout fillets for this evenings meal with baked potatoes and greens.
Myself, I continue in my studies and preparations with many requests from neighboring families for herbal comfort in this cold and flu season. I'm so blessed to be able to offer relief in my own small way.
In jest, they call me, The Woodwife because I find so much pleasure in gathering herbs from the fields and woodlands to garner their healing properties. It makes me smile to think on it.
Bringing myself back from my reverie, I must bid you farewell for now. May you also enjoy visions of what's to come as we march bravely on toward that first whisper of Spring.
Much herbal love from
our homestead to yours,
You can find some of my favorite sources for seeds and seedlings
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