Many retired northerners head south for winter to escape the cold, snow, and ice.
Bob and I have never done this even though cold can bug us, too. Since we probably will remain on the farm for winter, I've decided to make the best of it. The only way to do that is to be positive about the cold.
When I was working off the farm and had to work weekends, I often found it disheartening. Days before my weekend arrived I started fretting about Saturday and Sunday. Other co-workers also did this, so it became a pity party for all of us.
Since I didn't like to feel depressed, I decided to change my attitude. With a little effort I resolved to not just like my weekends at work, instead I'd love them.
The first good thing about working weekends was that there wasn't any management around, which meant no one was looking over your shoulder. When anyone else moaned about working, I asked them not to do it in my presence because I was determined to be happy about my weekend.
This change actually worked for me. My weekends weren't so miserable.
Attitude can make a big difference and this year I'm changing my outlook on winter. From now on I'm going to like this season. I'm going to rejuvenate my inner-child and let her play in the snow.
I know a lot of people already look forward to winter sports: sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling. I used to, too, but that was before arthritis took over my joints. If I fall it's a fight getting up, not a pretty picture - snowmobiling might work . . . if we had a snowmobile.
I have to take care of the old bones I have. That means taking baby steps - you can take that literally because walking on slippery patches using little steps makes for a safer crossing.
Having a dog who loves walking in all kinds of weather is a plus for my loving winter plans.
I can't bear looking at Sunny's sad face when he wants to go out for a walk. That glum expression always gets to me.
I get my coat, hat, earmuffs, gloves, sweatshirt and any other layers I need to be warm and take him for his walk - I taught Sunny a trick. He rolls over, but only during our walk and only when we're down the lane. He won't do it in the house where I can show off my smart dog to company.
The other day, after walking the dog in the falling snow, I decided to build a snowman. It was perfect packing snow, but kind of messy for rolling.
The bigger the ball got the more stuff stuck to it. I picked up leaves, sticks, stones, and unidentifiable stuff. I can't say for sure, but I may have picked up some frozen chicken droppings as our birds had been in the yard the day before when we were snow-free.
I built a usual three-ball snowperson and stacked him in the front yard where we can see it. The poor guy isn't snow white. He was built with a patchwork of blacks and browns rolled in.
It did help his complexion that the snow kept falling after his creation, so he doesn't look too bad. I am proud that I built him. You never know when another good packing snow will fall.
I hope to be able to share winter with our grandchildren this year, too. We don't have a good sledding hill on the farm, but we could make do and sled into the ditch. It's a short ride down, but the good thing is it's also a short walk up.
My winter plans are taking shape. I have my camera ready so when I'm out in that crystal beauty I can snap and save sparkling images . . . and then post them on Facebook - by the way, if you are looking for me on Facebook my name is Susan Paska Manzke. I added my maiden name so old friends/classmates could find me.
Coming back into the house is always the best after being out in the winter. The house seems warmer and the hot cocoa tastier - more perks for winter. (I haven't written about driving on slippery roads. I haven't found a way to make that positive.)
Now I have to finish sending out more Christmas cards to readers. We received 15 yesterday! I decided even if I do run out of our original family photo card, I'll copy more and send those to all who write. Happy Holidays Everyone!
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net.