Worse than all the rain and mud and dampness and being cooped up in the house is Jared's illness. He has his first cold. Of course, being a new mother, I panicked. He cries and cries. He rubs his ears and howls. He can't breathe, and trying to feed him makes his nose clog up. He sputters and chokes then howls because he's hungry. Miserable, the two of us.
The rain and cold does not help. I accidentally let the stove go out, and it took no time to start feeling chilled. Riley was gone--off doing something for Chad all day--so that left me stuck in the house with a wailing baby and a cold kitchen.
Worse, the storm soaked the stove wood that Riley has neatly stacked right by the back door. It's on the porch under cover, so you would think the rain couldn't touch it. But no! The wind came roaring with a vengeance this morning. I stepped outside and the porch acted like a wind tunnel. I dug through the wood stack to find some dry sticks, but the stove smoked anyway.
So now I'm coughing and my eyes sting. Nasty, nasty winter rains! I tried to remember a time when the rains and wind were this bad, and the only other January I can think of was the week Taffy foaled the twins. That was terribly cold, but after it was all over and done with, and I woke up warm, cuddled in the straw, I hurried inside the house, where a warm meal was waiting. Best of all, I didn't have to fix the meal. I didn't have to keep the kitchen stove or the fireplaces going. Not on the Circle C. It's times like these when I remember how rich we were. No wonder winter storms didn't seem nearly as bad!
It's bad now. If it wasn't raining so hard, I would bundle up Jared, hitch up the buggy, and run to Mother. She would walk and rock Jared, and I could get warm. But I'm too old to be running "home." Dirty darn stove! I tried three times, and the stove finally caught. But by then it was mid-morning and Jared had not let up. He was hungry and miserable. I was miserable and hungry. Together, we made quite the pair.
I got the kitchen stove roaring hot and then went back to bed with Jared. Warm at last, we both fell asleep. When I woke up, the house was warm. Jared was still sleeping, so I crept out from under the covers and brewed myself a cup of hot tea. I sliced some bread and chewed on a handful of dried peaches. My breakfast and lunch combined.
By mid-afternoon, the house was cozy warm and I had a chicken (Riley had butchered yesterday) in the pot for hot chicken soup. A batch of yeasty bread was rising (I have finally figured out how to make bread), and for an extra treat, I baked up some of Mother's famous sugar cookies. When Riley came home, cold, wet, and hungry, I greeted him like a true wife, with a warm kiss, a hot cup of coffee, and supper ready. Yes, I'm really learning!
Now, if only Jared will give me a peaceful night. If not, Tomorrow will start pretty much like today did. Please, Lord, one good night of sleep!
Andi's Sugar Cookies (Fun and easy!)
Written so a young child can make them.