Today was definitely a day to remain indoors. But, as life would have it, going outside is a necessity!

I made an early evening visit to the barn- to change the horses’ blankets to  heavier weight ones. I know, my horses ARE spoiled- but they are getting on in years, and I want them to remain around for alot longer!!! Even tho’  the ‘old man’ is as shaggy as an Icelandic pony, a little extra blanket warmth never hurts!!!

The temperature was about 19 degrees at 4:30 – the husband had just come in from letting the dogs run – and his fingers and nose were a little numb!

I needed to bundle up, and ran to my closet for some extra layers.

On the first hanger in my closet, hangs an old woolen jacket. This jacket belonged to my grandfather. I can still see him wearing it, in the winter at home in Valley Stream, NY, and on the cooler days of spring working around the Rhinebeck  country house in upstate NY.

The tag on the jacket says “Maine Guide”, Saks Fifth Avenue, 100% virgin wool.  It is probably about 70 years old now, with only a couple of microscopic  moth holes. Still with all the original buttons, it was made with the kind of care that is not often found in garments today. The inner seams are all covered – french seams, maybe- coming from Saks, I guess it was good quality!

I think my grandmother gave this to me – I don’t remember how I came to have it – but it has hung in my closets – always on the first hanger – for as long as I can remember. Maybe once a year, I take it out, try it on, and maybe wear it for a short while.

Each time I try it on, I am reminded that my grandfather was not a very big man. When I was a kid, he was larger than life – but when I try on his jacket – it fits me perfectly.

Well, today was the day to wear Poppy’s jacket! I put it on over my turtleneck, put the down vest over that, topped by the down jacket and lined leather barn gloves. Kind of like the proverbial little kid in a snowsuit!!!!

I was ready to brave the elements!!!

I know it was the many layers that kept me warm – but I prefer to think that Poppy knew I was wearing his jacket, and his warmth radiated thru out it.

The husband was outside with me – and with all his clothes, gloves, and even an attractive (!) flap earred hat – he was not as warm as I!!!

We re-blanketed the horses , fed them, pulled down more hay, mucked the stalls, closed up the barn, threw down corn for the deer, and brought in wood for the woodstoves!

The jacket is back in its place of honor – 1st hanger in the closet- who knows – I might even wear it again tomorrow!!!!!

The daughter's dogs getting a little to close to the jacket!!!

The daughter's dogs getting a little to close to the jacket!!!

As you can see, we were watching Ellen, and still haven’t gotten to painting the walls in the house!!!!!

Poppy, Jos. S. Caldwell, in his bicycle racing days! Think early Lance Armstrong!

Poppy, Jos. S. Caldwell, in his bicycle racing days! Think early Lance Armstrong!


All is well, and smoke coming from every chimney around, on this cold, cold evening at Mountain Meadows tonite………………