When winter started I was determined to like it. Well, maybe like is too strong a word. At least I was ready to not hate it, so I worked on my attitude.
To make it a fun season, I made two snowmen, one for each early storm with good packing snow. Those fellows stood in front of our house until a rain melted them away. Now they are gone and I don't have the urge to build another, not even if we got good packing snow.
The mid-winter thaw that took away my snowmen didn't stay long. It was one or two sloshy days and then new snow dumped on us again.
My friend Colleen Sutherland has been counting the days until spring's arrival from the beginning of winter. The numbers show we have less than a month until March 20, that doesn't mean snow will disappear by then, but we can hope.
I'm counting down to the WPS Farm Show, in Oshkosh, on March 26-28. That seems like the beginning of spring for us. Bob and I can't wait to visit with other farmers at the show. It's always a great place to view new machinery and talk about the old stuff we own.
At home, having a walking partner has proven to be enough motivation to get me out of the house. Bob isn't my walking partner, not in this slippery season. He takes his laps on the treadmill, but that's okay.
My walking partner is better at motivating me than Bob ever was. My partner is our dog, Sunny. That dog is used to going out every day.
Sunny is ready for his walk about one in the afternoon when the temperature, such as it is, is about as high as it will get for the day. If I forget, Sunny comes and sits at my feet and gives me one of his sad, pitiful looks. It's impossible to ignore his pleading. I have to quit whatever I'm doing and go out with him.
When we reach the out-of-doors Sunny is joyous and his fun spirit is contagious. I love watching him romp around, sticking his face deep in the snow and coming up with a coating of the white stuff - I can't imagine Bob doing that.
After the rain melted the snow, lakes were everywhere and then they refroze. Walking was nearly impossible. Then came another coating of snow to hide patches of ice from view, yet Sunny gave me his sad look and I pulled on my snow gear. This time I added clamp-on spikes on my shoes. I was sure I could handle anything with my getup, even the ice.
By the time we went out, the farm lane was nearly impossible to find. Bob had cleaned it out, but wind blew and filled in the lane. My mood was good and Sunny was happy, so we set off anyway.
I felt confident of my secure footing and got way down the lane before drifts got to me - it sure is a lot of work going through piles of snow. It makes for a great exercise, but I tired. "Let's go home, Sunny," I said to the dog and he circled back.
After walking through some of the wheat field where there was less snow, I hit a patch of ice and my cleats didn't hold - snow had packed solid around my cleats and I went flying. Luckily, I landed in the fluffy stuff and didn't get hurt.
As I went down, I let go of Sunny's leash and he kept going. (I've been trying to teach him about cars on the road, but I still don't have faith that he'll stop when he gets to the road. I sure don't want something bad to happen to him.) Anyway, as I watched, he stopped his romp and looked back at me.
Sunny came racing to me, but not like Lassie to the rescue, no he came because he thought I was on the ground ready to play. Such joy from him. I had to calm him down so I could stand back up without his sloppy kisses. We made it home OK - though muscle stiffness took hold of me after about an hour.
Now when the weather is good, Sunny and I are walking down the shoulder of the road. I just have to remind him about staying off the blacktop - I will be more than ready to celebrate the rebirth of spring. It can't come soon enough for me.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net; http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke.