about a week and a half ago, i caught the gardening bug from my friend Crystal and decided to start composting again in preparation for Spring.
did you know you could compost in the winter? ridiculous! turns out you can.
so i busted out the big metal bowl again and started dumping all of my egg shells and coffee grounds and fruit and veggie scraps into it. and then i realized that i had to get it all back to the compost pile somehow.
first of all, about two months ago, a giant tree fell on the compost pile. you know, right before our power went out for four days? just after my grandmother died and we had bed bugs and right before a freak snow storm that stranded us at home for three days and then we got the stomach flu? yeah, those were good times.
anyway, moving past that. still. trying, anyway.
so the tree. then, after the tree, there was winter.
and there is winter still. two feet of snow on the ground, which doesn't actually sound that dramatic until you want to pop out the back door and run a bowl of compost to the compost pile while the kids are coloring or boxing or otherwise distracted for the 32 seconds their attention spans allow.
so there the bowl sat, orange peels molding and apple cores dehydrating, and coffee grounds clinging to the slimy insides of egg shells, the whole thing overflowing as each morning i'd look at it and say, "today i'm going to shovel a path to the compost pile!"
i said this for six or seven days, and today, the stars aligned just right. ben came home from work while there was still some daylight to burn, and maggie wanted to go outside anyway.
we bundled up. i deposited maggie at her snow slide -- an actual slide with STAIRS that ben carved out of the giant pile of plowed snow next to our house. yeah, ben's awesome. then i strapped on some snowshoes and, armed with a snow shovel for the back deck, started making a path.
now, i don't know how often you guys use snowshoes, but they can be a bit tricky. at least, for me. because i'm not a winter sports sort of person, or even a walks-without-bumping-into-things sort of person. packing down the path through the yard wasn't too difficult, especially since i had my shovel to use as a sort of makeshift pole. i am sure i looked awesome. thankfully it was the paparazzi's day off in vermont.
after lurching and stumbling over to the back deck, i dragged my snowshoe shod feet up the stairs (which have no railing, btw), shoveling as i went and trying not to step on one snow shoe with the other. which is difficult. the MORE difficult thing being, of course, that a snow shoe is entirely too long to fit on a stair, so i had to sort of lean really far forward and prop myself up with the shovel as i went. i somehow made it to the top without face planting and shoveled a path over to the back door, where ben was waiting with my bowl o' goo. after a brief tussle with the ice that had jammed up the back slider, he managed to open it just wide enough to pass the bowl to me.
and then, i had to go back DOWN the stairs wearing snowshoes. . .and carrying a bowl of fragrantly rotting food.
ohhhhcrapohcrapohcrap please don't let me fall and spill a bowl of slimy produce all over my own head.
all right, i'll stop the drama now. i made it. i had to turn myself sideways and lean waaaay backward as i went down the stairs, and there was one near miss when i slid a little on my own path and got the toe of my snowshoe caught under - um, some snow - and almost fell down, but - the deed is done. dumped on top of the vast expanse of frozen backyard wilderness, just to the right of that poor fallen tree, is a tiny pile of kitchen scraps which may or may not be eaten by a squirrel or coyote overnight. i feel ridiculously responsible.
see, if i lived in california or something, i'd have to, i don't know - adopt an orphan or plant twenty trees to achieve this sense of satisfaction. this must be why vermonters are all so smug. just taking out the trash makes you a superhero.