"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter Joy

We had the first snow of the season last week.  It covered the ground in a white layer somewhere between one or two inches…at least it was that much out where we live.  Then a few days ago, the next storm hit us and gave us about 7 or 8 inches.  Big long sigh!!  I love it and I hate it.  It is absolutely so beautiful and that part of it I very much love.  There is also something about the first snow that, for me, is so peaceful and calming.  I love that! 

I woke Matthew early that morning, saying, “C’mon, get up!  We have lots of work to do.” He had an activity later in the day, and I wanted to be sure everything was done before he left. 

“I will tend to the horses, if you will go out and start the snow-blower”, I bargained.  The horses are almost always in my bargaining strategy; the horses being my preference over almost anything.   

“Ok”, he agreed knowing he really didn’t have a choice, as it was unlikely I was going to be able to start the snow-blower for its first time this season.  I wanted to get an early start on this job, before the snow had a chance to get hard by freezing.  It makes it much more difficult to blow after it has been on the ground a while.  I also wanted him to snow blow a nice path from the house to the barn and from the barn to the water trough, so the horses could get to it easily.

So off I went to love on the horses, while he went out to do the snow-white dirty work.
It wasn’t long though, before he came to report.  “The snow-blower is a no go.  It won’t start and there is gas spurting out from somewhere. I’m going to go start up the tractor and plow the drive way with that instead.”

Ok, I sighed, knowing that would require a little more from me.  “I will go shovel the path to the barn and the water trough." Knowing it would take awhile to get the tractor started and the blade attached, I knew timing of our workload meant I would also have to shovel the sidewalk to the gate.  Too bad, I thought, the blower does it so much better and makes it look a whole lot prettier.

So out I went, starting with the side walk.  My faithful lab was beside me the whole time frolicking in the fluffy powder, not so secretly demanding my attention with hopes that I would give her new toy a good toss for her.  I relented once again.  How do you say no to her?  Her joy at finally having winter arrive and me being outside with her was more than she could possibly contain.  She was almost delirious in her mirth. Oh!  How I love that dog!

I finished the sidewalk and stepped out the gate to check on Matthew, I could hear the whir of an engine; he had already gotten the old tractor running. What a guy! He knew the right tricks.

I made my way back to begin shoveling at the porch where we would begin our trek to the barn each morning and evening.  The snow was powdery and light making it easy to shovel.  I was glad I had Matt get up early to get a jump-start on our winter project.  It made the task so much easier, with less time spent. 

It was also going well for Matthew.  He already had the blade attached to the tractor and was well into plowing the drive.  A distinct feeling of pride came over me that my son knew how to do these kinds of things. Pride; and gratefulness, that he was blessed enough to have a dad, as well as a grandpa, that had taken the time to teach him.

When I got to the gate of the pasture, Julie, our new Arab/Quarter Horse, came to greet me.  I’m sure she was hoping for more hay or a treat of some kind.  As I shoveled extra carefully around the gate so snow would not build up and make it more difficult to open as time passed, Julie was right there, with her nose in my way making my job a bit more difficult.  But her presence for me was a welcome nuisance.  I continued the path to the barn and to Skeeter’s (our stubborn Appaloosa) corral.  He wanted to join in the fun as well, and started pacing the fence line.  Julie followed me every step I took and wasn’t about to leave me.  Earlier this fall I could tell she had finally bonded with me and that was a happy moment for me, when I had understood the change in her.  But this wasn’t about the bonding, I’m quite sure.  This was about white stuff all over the ground that kept her from being able to nibble her grass. 

I relented one more time.  While I loved that Julie wanted to be next to me, she was getting in my way adding a difficulty to the snow shoveling that I no longer wanted to endure.  And I didn’t like seeing Skeeter in such grief at the fence line.  I knew for sure I didn’t want him in my way, so I went to the barn and got them each a little more hay so they would be distracted with eating and stay out of my way.

When I finished the path to the trough, I realized I had left the gate to the pasture open and my lab was out exploring new areas that she rarely was able to explore.  “Bella, Come!” I called.  It only took one call and she was by my side. My faithful, obedient companion, who loves me more than any other being on this earth I am convinced.

Together we headed back to the gate, and there to greet us was my overly rotund, roly-poly, southern boy.  My beagle had also ventured out to greet me, and seemed to display a joy all his own, at this new winter adventure.  It was so comical, as he clumsily ran back down the newly shoveled path to the house. Watching him, I breathed a small sigh as I remembered the fit, agile dog he had been in his younger days. Though he had come from prime hunting stock, a life of unhealthy living had eventually caught up to him; too many meals, too little exercise. This bad-boy hates snow, and can’t stand to be cold.  “He hales from the south”, I always tell people, and “he hates winter!”  But when there is something new going on, and people (or animals) that one loves are involved, it simply makes everything more fun, and a time one can’t afford to miss – for beagles or humans!
So, now I hope the reader understands my love/hate relationship with winter.  For at least the first month or two, it is definitely mostly love.

We received the second storm of the season, today.  Heading out for Round 2; adding up the times that will eventually lead me to the…well, shall we say the time that will be “less than love”.


  1. I'm having a hard time feeling the love! LOL! It seems like it has arrived too early this year.

    But I do love your doggies! Both of 'em!

    We need to get together again soon. I miss talking to you this year.

  2. Thanks, Karla! Yes! I miss you, too. Let's get together for coffee or something during these holidays if we can!