The first hesitant tendrils of spring are taking hold in our formerly snow-encased northeastern landscape. Frugal Hound senses the warmer temperatures on our walks and exudes a certain doggy friskiness in response. Much as Mr. Frugalwoods and I genuinely enjoy the frozen wintertime, we’re equally pleased to welcome the balmy New England spring.
We find that the turning of the seasons lends a reassuring rhythm to life. Indeed, it seems like the most natural progression of a year. Each season has unique attributes that distinguish it from the last, and this marked change causes us to appreciate our region with a sort of wonder at the novelty of varied climates. We feel differently with each season, we eat differently, and we do different activities. The seasonal shifts remind us that we’re not really in control of our lives–no matter how much our modern world tries to fabricate interior spaces that are completely immune from and out of sync with the earth’s natural, annual metamorphoses.
Mr. FW and I prefer to live in tune with the seasons and follow their leads in how we structure our lives. While we’re fairly limited in those expressions of seasonality here in the city, we look forward to the intensely seasonal work and adjustments that homestead life will entail. To us it feels intrinsically right, deeply historical, and even comforting to live a life that doesn’t dismiss nature or try to climate control it away.
We look forward to the time when our daily pursuits are guided by what the weather, the woods, and the farm need us to do. That type of responsive, holistic living appeals to us at a base, elemental level. The fact that we currently do the same work in the same offices every day, every season, with no regard whatsoever for nature’s permutations is disheartening and uninspiring. We’d rather be outside and at the whims of the weather.
There’s no small amount of challenge and difficulty involved in homesteading and living in accordance with the seasons, but it’s a challenge we crave and want to meet with our full ingenuity and creativity. I think this desire also stems from the fact that neither Mr. Frugalwoods nor I likes, or reacts well, to being told what to do. We’re a bit self-deterministic (in case you hadn’t guessed…) and so the fact that our employers dictate we be in our offices from 9-5, regardless of any other circumstances, chafes at our very mode of existence. Conversely, we’re OK with being told what to do by nature and the seasons.
But back to the present… This isn’t to say we don’t have any seasonal alterations here in the city–we surely do, they’re just on a much more minute scale. Spring for the Frugalwoods entails a general cleaning and freshening of the house and a re-opening of various home improvement projects that often lie dormant in the wintertime. It’s tough, for example, to patch concrete when it’s buried under a Snountain. So, we’ll restart repair and improvement projects and I’ll give the house a deep clean.
We also look forward to the days where we can get by without the use of heat or air conditioning. Plenty of folks jump straight from heat to A/C, but there’s no need here. It’ll be temperate for several months, during which time we’ll open window and doors and take advantage of fresh (though urban) air. Saves money, feels great, and makes the house smell so fresh and so clean! Last year we made it to early July before we switched on the A/C–and even then it was only for occasional use. Hopefully we’ll have a similarly lengthy climate control-free stretch.
An uptick in walks and hikes are on the horizon for our spring as are BBQs and general outdoors lounging. We find free entertainment year-round, but the warmer months are especially easy targets for $0 fun.
Frugal Hound, aggrieved member of the Frugalwoods family, reporting in for this week’s Grumble. Something Mrs. FW conveniently neglected to mention in her rather long-winded Woot is the fact that springtime = Frugal Hound bath time. I am bathed but twice a year, in spring and fall, but that is still far too often. I’m not a stinky* hound and I don’t do doggy things like roll in mud or eat poop. Therefore, I feel I should be granted the decency of a bath-free existence.
* Mrs. Frugalwoods in response: Frugal Hound is correct, she’s not exactly ‘stinky’ but she is a bit musky-smelling and is shedding her winter fur, a process we can hasten by scrubbing her down. I believe she’s on the docket for the tub tomorrow morning, so we’ll be sure to give her extra treats tonight. Washing one’s own large, heavy, awkwardly-shaped dog is an amusing, furry, wet experience that everyone should have. Think of all the hilarity you’re missing if you outsource this (not to mention the fact that you’ll need to pay for it… the horror!).