It’s a Cold World

Our horse, old boss man aka Mick

"Old Boss Man" aka Mick

It’s a cold world.  At least it is around here right now.  I’m in the south, specifically Alabaster, Alabama and it just doesn’t get mentionably cold very often in this part of the country.  This year has been exceptional in that we have had several instances of snow and frigid temperatures. I hate when that happens more than once or twice in the season.  The cold more so than the snow.

I was born in the northern part of Ohio so I’ve certainly experienced far more winter weather than we get here and I mostly loved the snow.  Back then I also liked the frigid temperatures because it meant a frozen pond on which to ice skate, right out behind our house.  My dad on the other hand hated the snow and the ice.  He had very good reason since it meant a LOT of extra time and effort in the morning in trying to get to work.  Clearing snow from the driveway, salting the ice so no one fell and ended up with a broken neck, extra time warming the car and getting snow and ice off of it so he could use it, etc.

I finally got a taste of my dad’s perspective when I was 16 and headed off to work at my job at a local Burger King.  I went racing out the door one afternoon in order to make it to work by 5pm.  The shoes I wore were not exactly noted for having good traction and in fact were extremely slick even when there wasn’t a sheet of ice under them.  I fell right there in the driveway and not gracefully so my first concern was of course whether anyone saw me.  We had a gravel driveway and one of those little stones was frozen in place with a nice, sharp, pointed end peaking out.  It made a very deep wound in my knee when I landed on it and instead of getting to work I ended up at the emergency room getting a few stitches.  I didn’t view the icy driveway in quite the same way after that.

Just like back then I still see the snow and ice through two lenses.  I love the hush and tranquility after a fresh blanket of snow.  I

Me and my little brother in the snow

Me on the left and my little brother many years ago in Ohio

like seeing the contrast of a red cardinal against a stark white landscape.  The horses make a nice show of bouncing around in it. Since they don’t see it often here it excites them and they run, paw the ground and snort in the first few hours of its arrival.  Then there is the other side, going outside just before bedtime to put the horses in their stalls for the night.

One of them, who I like to call old boss man because he wants to be in charge and bully the other horses away so he can hog the barn for himself, creates the need for assigned stalls. Putting them in early isn’t an option unless I want even more work of managing water in each stall.  Then there’s getting out there nice and early the next morning to let them out so they can get to the water and start their day.  One final bit of fun, taking a sledghammer to the water tank to break the ice for the little darlings.  I’m sure I am a comical sight to motorists passing by getting an early start on the morning traffic.

Then there is my loony little dog Lucky.  She will not get in her dog house except on very random occasions, even in below freezing temperatures, so I bring her inside at night when it goes below freezing.   She doesn’t enjoy the kennel so that means a little chasing around sometimes to get her in there.  I can’t leave her roaming around the basement because she will create more projects for me on which I’d rather not spend my time.

All in all these days I guess I’m getting a lot more of my dad’s perspective than my childhood self.  What I’m getting at is I’m already pretty sick of the frigid temperatures and ready to go back to our mild temperatures.  I’ve been turned into quite a softy after living in this climate for over 25 years.  A day here and there is fine as a novelty, we’ve had that now lets quit the kidding around and bring back those sometimes upper 60’s winter daytime temps.

What do you do with the winter days? Do you bundle up and spend your time outside or mostly hibernate inside and read, pursue indoor hobbies or mope about yearning for the warmer temperatures?  Mostly I head for a good book next to the fire and when we don’t have the below freezing temps I’m pretty spoiled since I don’t have much in the way of extra chores with the animals. Hibernating is definitely my tendency most of the time although I do like a little fun outside here and there to break the monotony. Being inside so much also presents a grand opportunity for enjoying a lot of comfort food, restraint must be used to avoid the unpleasant consequences that can sometimes bring in the form of wardrobe changes (a need for bigger clothes).

Take a minute to share what you like and maybe don’t so much like about winter days in the comments below or on the Facebook page.  Ideas for making the times when we’re stuck indoors more bearable are especially welcome here.

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