It has been quite awhile since any of us has ventured to the farm.There were some trips last summer ( sadly, undocumented) and then the start of a new job. Although the new job brought promise of more time spent in the woods, the reality of needing to learn new things made last fall a whirlwind of activity, centered in the city.
With the warmth of spring in the air, anticipation of more frequent visits fills our hearts. The talk starts to turn to things we want to get done and list start to fill. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has put our plans into a holding pattern. With a shelter-in-place order, we have found that our plans for the spring have now turned to dreams for next year. Plans undeniably need to shift, as the hopes of getting a garden planted early enough for a harvest start to wane. Prepping the soil in anticipation of next year may be as far as we get with a garden. Thoughts focus around the sauna now, as having a cleansing and healing spot in the woods seems more important than ever.
As a pleasant spring thunderstorm rolls through here, my thoughts can only turn to the sights, sounds, and smells of this same storm at Feträ. I have always believed that as much as we have plans for Feträ, she also has her own plans for us, and her isolation during this time must be what she needs.
We have had a BUNCH of snow in Minnesota. Elissa and I decided to venture out to Feträ to put up some more insulation. Since the city has not plowed our road much in the past, we figured we would be hiking in from the county road, about a quarter mile. We got some snowshoes, I packed up the new toboggan from Northern Toboggan and hit the road. Much to our surprise, the road was plowed. We were still very thankful for the snowshoes and the toboggan as we hauled the insulation to the cabin.
The weather was beautiful!
We both ventured into the woods a bit to enjoy the peacefulness.
It was a magical day that neither one of us wanted to end.
It was a long, cold day, but our new friend has a home. Oskar and I got up early and drove over to a horse farm near Chetek. Of course it was the coldest day so far this winter, and it was the day we were moving the newly acquired 1948 Farmall M to its new home at Feträ. I had contracted with another guy to meet us there as well with a truck and trailer to do the hauling. When we got to the farm it was a balmy 3 degrees. Oskar stayed warm in the truck while we tried to get the tractor started. No luck. We swapped out the battery from my truck and it started right up, but the engine raced up to max RPM’s. We had to shut it down right away. About this time I wondered what I had gotten myself into. No worries, with two people who new what they were doing, they had the carburetor pulled apart while I watched. Turns out there was moisture frozen in the governor rod. Once that was melted (with a blowtorch, yikes!), they put it back together and it fired right up and ran like a dream. We got the tractor loaded on the trailer, chained it down, and we were off to Feträ.
It was fun looking in the rear view mirror and seeing my tractor. Once we got it to Feträ, the driver backed it off the trailer, and it was my turn.
I pulled it around the truck and parked in our parking area. Our new friend was home. After a bit of playing around on it, it was time to go into Spooner and get some lunch. The girls met us in Spooner and we all went out to Feträ so everyone could see the new addition.
We took turns driving it around, and then it was time to bid our new friend farewell. It was a great day and the start of a new adventure. Welcome to the family Totoro the tractor.
After late snowfalls and cold temperatures well into April, we were finally able to make the trek to Feträ to reconnect. We had a beautiful spring day and we arrived to only just patches of snow. We were all so excited to be there. While the adults finished the insulation over one of the lofts, the kids played in the hammock. We had a nice picnic lunch and a little walk in the woods. A chance to drive out in to the pasture, and then it was time to head back. With the sun going down, the temperatures would be dropping quickly. More reason to finish the insulation. Soon we will be ready for more days here. Until next time.
The call of Feträ was just too much, and it had been far too long since a visit, so we decided that a quick day trip was in order. We were not sure how much snow there would be, or the condition of the road, but the sun was shining and Feträ was calling.
Upon arriving, we had to park on the highway, as the road had not been plowed and there was several feet of snow still on the ground. We bundled up and started the trek to the cabin. Snow had to jump the whole way, as she sunk up to her chest. If we could stay on top of the snow, it was easier going, but breaking through it was over knee deep on me. It was an adventure.
When we finally got to the cabin, all of the snow had fallen off the roof in front of the door. Snow removal equipment will be in order! After a bit of hot chocolate, relaxing and just being, we began the trek back to the car on the highway. Short, sweet, and satisfying.
This year, on the day after Thanksgiving, the Kuchenmeister’s headed to Feträ to spend Black Friday the best way we know how, outside at the farm. The first order of business was to explore the new addition. There was not much snow yet, but enough to provide nice accents (and snowballs). Some new fairies were added to keep watch and play when we are not there.
Earlier in the fall Elissa commented on the lone pine tree growing in the field and how it was a perfect Christmas tree. The wheels were turning and we both knew that a new tradition would be coming, and it would involve decorations. We all worked in the winter chill to get the lights and bulbs on the tree. Another trip will be needed to see the tree at night, as the solar lights only come on when it is dark enough.
The end result was approved by the queen Fairy and her guardian, Snow.
As the days grow shorter and the nights tempt frost, Feträ glows with the beauty that the changing seasons provide. With school and all of its activities in full swing, we have all missed spending time up here. Several weeks back we hosted Dad, Tom, Karl, And Cathy for a day.
Stories and talk around the fire, bratwurst and other snacks, and a nice hike through the woods made for a joyous day. Karl brought his drone and got some great aerial photos.
Nights in the tent got rather chilly, so as a temporary solution we invested in an old RV.
With the help of a propane heater, the nights were more comfortable, but the longing for a nice little cabin is greater than ever.
Snow is not far off, and more good news is in the works.