It is well below freezing on the Homestead today. The wind is howling around the corners of our civil war era log cabin. The naked branches of the apple trees sway back and forth in the frigid wind. And I am winter-dreaming of the orchards in Summer!

Winter is a time for refurbishing tools, repairing and servicing machines, making sure the water pipes in the Vinegar Brewery don't burst, pruning apple trees and bottling Rockbridge Cider Vinegar. It is also a time to put on and take off layers and layers of winter clothes every day. Oh, how easy the summer season seems to me on frozen days like today!

Actually, the winter season is a relatively quiet time on our homestead. Winter allows for a slower pace than the frenetic schedules of Spring, Summer and Fall. I seem to spend more time just lounging in front of the fire, because the nights are longer. In the summer, I am reluctant to stop working until the late afternoon sun dips behind the Allegheny mountains to the West.

Every season has its joys and challenges. It may just be that this winter is taking a harder hold on my aging, vinegar-brewer body. Anyway, I always feel a bit warmer in winter when I dream of the summer orchards.