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Jessie: In the bitter cold of a New Hampshire valley.

I’m not sure about where you all are at but where I am, it has been cold. Maddeningly cold. The kind of cold that gleefully wiggles its way into even the tightest new houses with the best sorts of insulation and newfangled windows. My house was built in 1875. From the feel of things around here this week the insulation is original and whatever cold the newfangled windows are keeping out, the walls have been letting in. I hear myself grumbling and muttering about kids that can’t be bothered to close the doors. Then I realize the draft isn’t from any open door. It’s simply pulsing through the walls.

The wind races down the hills and into the valley village in which I live and throws its best efforts behind peeling off our roof. As hard as our new furnace is trying, it can’t get the house warmer than 61.5 degrees, even with a pellet stove going in the kitchen. I’ve taken to wearing my bathrobe all day, over long johns, a sweat suit, an Icelandic sweater and a mohair shawl. Lately, in our house, a nightcap is not a pleasant evening cocktail but an essential piece of survival gear knitted of bulky weight wool.

So why do we live here? Why stay in a place where you wonder about the logistics of showering with your clothes on because the idea of taking off even a single layer makes a slushy tear slide down your cheek?

Turkeys, that’s why. When I look out my kitchen window, as I slowly rotate myself in front of the pellet stove, I get to see a flock of turkeys perched on the treehouse in the back yard. They arrived with the bitter cold and helped themselves to the crabapples I never got around to turning into jelly last fall.  I love to see them waddling around on large, careful feet, trudging the path my husband carved to access the compost bin.

It really is the little things that make life such a pleasure. Even in the depths of winter.

Which little things make your life a pleasure?

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