Winter Musings

I hunker-down for winter. My sister dislikes winter to such a degree that she exchanged the snow and cold of winter for the hurricanes and snakes of North Carolina. There’s actually a lot of good things about her move but she will unfortunately miss out on the big, white sleep that’s coming our way.

I don’t particularly enjoy shoveling snow or slippery roads but there’s a lot to enjoy about winter. It is the season of decreased expectations because as long as you get to work and keep the propane tank full, you have met the expectations established to exist in Minnesota in the winter. Anything done in addition to these two tasks, makes you seem like an over-achiever.

The great thing about decreased expectations is that you have time for fun, to make change or just mindlessly vegetate; I do a bit of all three. I have a Kindle that I keep busy with football and country music autobiographies, I build stuff in the shop plus I have more time to work-out. Winter is the best time to get to the gym and create some sweat as all that excess heat feels so good when I am stiffly walking from the building to my cold vehicle.

We have spent the past summer in preparation for winter. I recently finished covering our last garage in metal panels to make the garage more weather-tight. I changed out one cattle waterer to a larger model so the cows can get a nice drink even when the temperature plunges to less than 32 degrees. I also have plans to try something a little different on the winter roads. The gravel road from our home to the tar is difficult to navigate in a storm. For this reason, I am considering overhead lights, or yard lights, along the complete 2 ½ mile stretch. It’s kind of an indulgence but it sure would be sweet to have some light by which to navigate in a full-on blizzard. Speaking of light, I just installed a light bar on my truck for off-road snow plowing. I tried it out last night and it turned night into day-bring it, winter.

I told the guys at work that now was time to turn up the heat in the shop and that I would see them in April. That’s maybe a little overstated but I do like hanging out in a nice, warm shop. I purchased a bunch of old sewing machines last summer which I will make into toy tractors. It’s so nice to hang out in a warm shop and listen to the radio while I do my busy work. I usually crank up the heat about seven on a Saturday morning and start work once the cooking shows come on at ten. I even have the luxury of a coffee pot out there but typically just bring an insulated mug of of liquid joy. I will share progress of these projects in this column to include picture later on.

I know many of you shed tears as you pull out the dock or resign yourself to wearing an overcoat. I feel for you however many of the most enduring memories are born of accomplishments earned during struggle. Winter is an excellent time for struggle so make those memories now before the awful melting of snow let’s us all know that summer will soon arrive.

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