This week, the kids and I are visiting my parents at their homestead, Aelfheim in the Meramac River valley in Missouri. The property is off a small country road, surrounded by thick forests dotted in open pastures for cows and horses to graze. Aelfheim is right next door to my Grandma's country home, Frogbird's Farm. There are wooded trails, a pond, meadows overgrown with Missouri wildflowers and a big barn. We've spent many summer and autumn weekends here but this is our first time in the country when it's snowy.

In the afternoon, mom and I had a little lunch, then joined grandpa and the kids outside to explore all of the beauty of winter. As I've previously written, winter is always a difficult time for me and I often dread the slush, grey skies and biting temperatures but being here reminds me that winter has unappreciated beauty. The last time I was in this meadow, it was so hot that the grasses crunched under my boots. The brush chirped and moved with frogs and huge grasshoppers. This time, I see things from a much different point of view.

I walked alone through the silent meadow, picking samples of different plants for a winter bouquet

The kids screeched and ran around the front of the barn, pelting grandpa Dan with snowballs and mom and I followed a few different sets of tracks- a rabbit, a few deer and maybe a fox or coyote

Mom headed up a project to make a snow lady to feed the many varieties of birds.