During the winter months, only the necessary barn chores get done. Daylight is in short supply, and cold weather is not.
Chore time is spent breaking ice from buckets, carrying hay, thawing latches, taking off and putting on my gloves.
Manure piles up.
Cobwebs grow and multiply.
Baling twine hangs like tinsel from stall doors, hay bales, hooks.
Loose hay covers the ground.
The barn counter becomes littered with my trusty hair dryer, pens and notes, gloves, dust, ear tags, chicken leg bands, dog leashes, broken latches, fences handles and other things the soil has heaved up during its freeze and thaw cycles.
But this weekend, temperatures climbed into the 60's, and I headed to the barn to clean.
I knocked down cobwebs, put away buckets, cleaned off the counter, raked up loose hay and hauled away wheelbarrows full of manure.
The barn looks orderly. It looks presentable.
Maybe, just maybe, it can stay this way for lambing season, I think.
And then I glance at the calendar.
Lambing season is six weeks away.
I study the weather forecast.
The cold weather returns this week.
So I settle for sitting on the mounting block, listening to the horses munch hay, and admiring a moment of barn orderliness.