I’ve been having a love/hate relationship with winter for many years. When I tell people I live in Colorado, the first thing they say is “Oh, you must ski.”
No. I essentially hibernate, especially in January and February (which in Colorado is the longest month of the year – will the cold and snow never end?)
When other people are out snowboarding, skiing, or tubing with their kids, I’m in the house trying to keep warm. In the winter, there are never enough cats to layer on the bed, or enough incentive to get me to even think about hitting the slopes.
I tried. In my 20’s and 30’s I tried to be a one of those Coloradan’s who lives for winter. Cross-country skiing was pretty okay, because you’re always moving and it’s easier to stay warm. My fondest memory of a Colorado winter was a cross-country skier traversing the Pearl Street Mall during quite the little snowfall, where the flakes came down thick, but not fast. It was magical. And I was inside one of the mall restaurants, sipping on a glass of wine, enjoying time with my spouse and some friends, watching that person swoosh by. Ahhh, yes, a fond memory indeed.
The last few years it’s been pretty dry in the winter, and that has been a double-edged weather pattern. It’s been nice for getting outside on the sunny days, not much to worry about in the snow department, and easy to travel from one place to another, which is important when you live on a dirt road and the nearest (small) town is about 15 minutes away. Better have a full larder.
On the down side of the dryness, nothing really grows. So a dry winter and dryer spring means no hay for the horses. Now that we have 30 acres in hay, moisture has become more important to me (of course – it’s all about me – and my horses). We have been fairly bereft of hay from our own field the last couple of years.
And what about those rumors we heard about our dirt road being blocked by drifts? Nah, we thought, not going to happen, if the last two years were anything to judge by.
Then there’s this year. A more “normal” year in the snow and cold department. VERY long January, even longer February. Multiple snow storms. Wind howling like the proverbial banshee, which means drifts. Big drifts. Six foot high drifts across our dirt road that prevent anyone from leaving, or coming home. My beloved spent two days in a hotel near his work because our road was blocked with drifts in both directions. Of all the beings living in our house, the only one who looked even remotely happy about the snow was Niko, our malamute.
I gaze out at our back field, though, and even though I don’t care for winter, or cold, or snow, I bless every flake, because I know we’re going to have a bumper crop of hay this year. Like everything, there are two sides to the situation. So I’ll enjoy the snowstorms, even the part where we have to slog down to the barn to take care of the horses, and know that Mother Nature is taking care of us. We have a warm house, and yes, our larder is full. It can snow all it wants, and I’ll take a deep breath and say thank you.
Just don’t ask me to ski.