When Winter Gives You an Unexpected Gift

Have you ever taken a trail ride in the snow? Kelly & Megan didn’t let the snow stop them. 

I know that must sound crazy, winter doesn’t give us gifts, it gives us misery, you might say. But is that totally true? In Ohio this week we are super excited about the thermometer that reads fifty-degrees. And,  all this week,  it is going to be above forty. So what, you might be thinking is, Who cares, we still have until March 20th before spring is officially here and I just know its going to get bad again,  winter isn’t over yet,  don’t get too excited.

Truth is, that is exactly the problem. Could it be all in the way you look at it?   Growing up as a kid, I don’t remember being disgusted if it rained, or snowed or  was hot. The weather conditions were a challenge to be dealt with. I remember my parents staying ahead of the  game as best they could  on the farm, for example  like putting heat tapes on water lines before they froze; checking antifreeze in tractors and vehicles; placing  straw bales as insulation  around the farmhouse foundation to stop the drafts and it helped.

Wonderful to see. Like money in the bank! Resonates warmth. 

Perhaps we get so discouraged  at winter when we have been less than proactive  and, if so,  we can change that at will. What a great feeling it was to turn the faucet on in the barn and see free running water because the heat tape did its job.  Or how wonderful it is when we worked hard during the fall to have enough wood cut, split and covered  so that we can burn more wood if we need to because the temperatures are hovering around zero. Warm and cozy and plenty wood, and so on makes us feel good.

 You probably have some of your own things swimming around in your head that you do to stay proactive or things you have been inactive about and want to change.  I find its much easier to live with  Mother Nature by being proactive and seeing her as a challenge rather than a curse.  Yes, I do have a bag of salt in the back closet for ice on the sidewalks or driveway, oh and kitty litter too. I have been stuck on flat ground on ice in the driveway before. Kitty litter works.  

So could it be  the way we look at things that matters? Or just as much what we do with our times that keeps us joyful in all seasons?   When the temperature reached fifty degrees, unseasonably warm  in January, I know, that seems unbelievable but true,  I pulled on my Muck boots and headed outside.  The ground was still frozen. The sun was shining and  it felt good to be outside amongst nature  and having the sun on my face, knowing I was soaking up  the Vitamin D that everyone else  is deficient of  I am learning about from the news.


 I went on to move round bales to the horse pastures instead of waiting.   I hooked up the hydraulic harrow-gator and worked our indoor arena’s footing. Today’s agenda is to cut up a tree limb lying on the fence and one that  just plopped over  into the grassy lane we drive on from field to field.   I will move some raised beds to better locations.   I think I might plant one of my raised beds,  just because its January and I want to. The seed catalogs have already arrived and I bought a few seeds at Dollar General just the other day, just because. The seed should sprout as soon as the temperature inside the cold frame is warm enough, don’t you think? Doesn’t matter, I will have fun, digging in the dirt and dreaming of plucking a few salad greens by spring.  That’s the kid coming out in me.  But more importantly,  like a kid, I am going to be outside having fun and like the adult I have to be,  accomplishing much needed chores.  The two make a great combination, and  I smile real big with the thought of it.

After your winter chores or fun time, there’s nothing like a good cup of  hot chocolate, coffee or tea, is there?

 So Here’s the Thing: You can’t change winter but you can change how you see it and  live with  it.  Do the things that are winter time fun things that you can’t do in the spring. Sled riding, ice skating and so on. For me, writing.  And if you should be so lucky to have unseasonably warm temps in your winter region, make the time to get outside and enjoy it. Take a horseback ride, (oh my, that has got to go on my list for today) sow a cold frame, sit on a bench near the water’s edge, take a nature walk, fire up the grill and cook out, but  by all means Take  Joy in it.  Spring is a coming!

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