January Weekends



I have certain expectations of January weekends. I look forward to them all year long, especially during the hectic holiday season. The woodshed is full, nothing needs weeding, picking or preserving, it’s not too hot or humid, supplies of all sorts are on hand and all I need to do is knit, walk the dog, go through the seed catalogues (in the requisite rocking chair by a roaring fire with snow falling softly outside), cook a little and bring in the wood to keep the fires going.

In reality, of course, there’s a lot of regular life that gets tossed in with this idyllic mix, and some special negatives that balance out the beauty of January—driving on slippery roads to do errands, coming home to a cold house after running said errands, shoveling snow (or not shoveling snow when the weather acts weird—almost worse), winter colds and trying to stay on both feet while walking the dog on the already mentioned slippery roads, do unexpected, but necessary home repairs, and of course, wait for the pipes to defrost in the morning.

This is also when I expect to pull things together–a lot of stuff piles up over time but I have this notion that come January, quiet, uneventful month that it is, I will get organized, clean out the yarn cave (my office), make some sense of the piles of paper and books on my desk, clean up and back up computer files, do taxes and other nasty paperwork,

order seeds and make a garden plan, get some photos printed, make lots of lists and actually cross things off, and generally get my act together in hopes of keeping it together once spring comes. I love spring as much as the next person, and I really do look forward to it, but there is no busier time of year—mostly I think, because in the north there is less leeway for getting things growing. Put off starting certain seeds for a few weeks at a critical time and you might just as well not bother. So I need to be ready when the propitious moments arrive.

All that being said, we actually have had some very nice January weekends—we’ve played board games, walked the dog in sparkling fresh fluffy snowfalls, knit, gone down to the island to walk, run and watch the surf,

baked, knit, started a few more amaryllis bulbs and the last of the paperwhite narcissus, started organizing the office, knit, checked out fresh tracks in the snow, gone out to dinner, knit, visited the library, watched movies, ordered seeds, enjoyed a nice meal of homemade baked beans, sauerkraut, ham, brown bread and butter with awesome chocolate cake for dessert, knit…you get the picture!


  1. Jonathan says:

    I like the addition of the railing.

  2. Cheryl says:

    “I love January and February”…people think you’re nuts when you utter those words, unless of course they’re knitters. In that case, all is understood!

  3. Phoebe says:

    Why did papa make a rail for the sundeck?

  4. James Peckenham says:

    Do I spy egg nog in Margaret’s glass…still? :)

  5. epeck says:

    I love these photos! It makes it look like its always sunny in Maine. Findus is sooooo cute! Is he looking up at Papa?

  6. Heather Retberg says:

    Hello Mary,

    Now on high speed, I have finally made it over to your beautiful blog. What a gift it is for you to share your family and life this way–even the messy desk, thank-you for that.

    I like your mix of reality with expectations just as much on your blog (where the photos are really terrific) as I do in person. AND…brave soul, you even share glimpses at raw milk (gasp!).

    I DO like the idea of quiet January weekends, too. AND a January beach picnic, too–with everyone. Next to look for your knitting design for wrist warmers….Haven’t even picked up the knitting needles this winter, except when we had a one year old friend over who pulled them out of the basket with great interest. Sigh.

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