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…you know what we’ll be doing.

Winter chores.  Which usually involves a lot of Snow.

Here’s a synopsis of our outdoor life from November through April or May each year:

Early early in the morning--time to go to work. Boots are preferred for dry feet at work.

Then there is the challenge of scraping the car.  Seems like I even wrote a blog about it back last winter.  Let’s see if it can be found.  Yes, here  it is if you would vicariously like to experience the thrill.

A very kind husband sometimes offers to scrape & brush the car!

This morning proved a very lucky morning.  My dear husband offered to open the door and walk outside to take pre-dawn photography shots.  Wasn’t he kind?  (HE didn’t have to go to work this morning…)  He even scraped and brushed the car after the photo shoot.  Of course, I do believe I scraped HIS car yesterday morning, so perhaps now we’re even. 

As of the last daylight check, it seems like it gets light around here somewhere around 8:15 a.m.  Dark around 5:45 p.m.  Our daylight hours are a little skewed compared to most folks on Eastern time because we’re so close to the Central Time Zone. (Morning observation:  forget the specifics.  It’s hard to determine when it gets light.  Let’s revise to say anywhere between 7:45-8:15 a.m. in the morning.  Or you can click here to get the official time.)

Yours truly shoveling the wood pile

In the afternoon we opted to fill the wood room.  You need to get the wood inside for a couple days before you burn it in the woodstove for prime burning.  Even though we have our wood pile nicely tarped, it still needs to dry out completely.  First, you have to shovel the snow off the tarps.  (This is usually not my job.)  Then one of us stands inside in the wood room while the other hauls logs to the door.  The inside-worker stacks the logs in nice even rows in the woodroom.  Because the inside worker has a cushier job (unless they are putting the logs up high) one must trade off.  I let Barry stack the higher logs and then jump inside to stack the lower logs while he carries the wood in.  Got that convoluted lesson in wood hauling and stacking?

Nothing like building a new garage addition in the snow!

This winter looks extra-challenging for chores because a certain Garage Addition Builder has not yet finished his project.  In fact, it looks like February might be the finishing date.  You never know.  The metal roof is in at the lumber yard.  He’ll drive his ’49 Studebaker in to pick up supplies on Friday.  Before he begins to work on his daily building project, he must shovel the snow off the rafters.  It makes building a garage addition in the summertime look like a piece of cake!

Another very important winter chore involves plowing the driveway with our tractor.  I suggested today that he uncover the tractor and re-plow the driveway for a photo shoot.  He declined.  So you will have to imagine what the tractor and plowing job looks like.  Or, if you’re really bored and missing this blog during the winter, re-read all the entries.  Somewhere in the archives there is a picture or two of the tractor.  I promise you.

My jobs are shoveling the deck and sometimes the front porch.  And…oh yes…we mustn’t forget…emptying the ash buckets.  After you burn enough wood in the woodstove, it fills up with ash which must then be dumped out in the woods.  And now you can visualize this exciting chore:

Emptying the ash buckets

Yep, that’s our winter chores.  I’ve probably forgotten at least ten of them.  So you can see, even if I decide to shut the door and stay inside all winter, it’s not going to happen!  Those outdoor chores will simply have to be done…

By the way, if I eventually start another blog, I am looking forward to being able to post indoor photographs.  For example…looking around furtively…no one is noticing this isn’t an outdoor photograph, are they?…don’t you think this statue of Abraham Lincoln with the cactus growing out of his head looks cool?  (Barry just raised his eyes and did not seem to agree…)  I did not even position that cactus.  Life is amazing, isn’t it?

Mr. Lincoln with a Christmas cactus growing out of his head.

Waiting

Captured Leaves or ...... ?

I’m debating whether to describe this day as “half full” or “half empty”.  You know what I mean?  The optimist looks at a glass filled halfway with water and calls in “half full”.  The pessimist looks at the same glass and labels it “half empty”.

So here’s the February scenario for you.  Gray heavy clouds sink down from the skies, drizzling dampness on everything.  Sodden.  Gray.  Ominous.  It feels like you’re moving in a dismal ashen world.  A shivering clammy dank humidity surrounds and penetrates everything and everyone.  The driveway has turned to deep slush and mud.  Everything is soaked, bleak, saturated. (Doesn’t this sound like describing the glass as “half empty”?)

Let’s try again to describe the day as “half full”.  The vaporous mist blankets the forest, its silvery beauty rising up against the oyster skies.  The moistness of the drizzling pearly mid-winter melting etches the world in lovely filmy artistry and allurement.  Everywhere shades of gray rise against the bare bone landscape of tree branches.  Three fat mourning doves appear magically beneath the spruce tree, pecking amongst the spruce cones.

Which scenario is the “truth”?  Gray dull moody world or lovely drizzling shades of silver?

To tell you the truth, most of the day I labeled it all just gray and heavy.  But somewhere in the afternoon while we were filling the wood room, my inner view shifted.  And suddenly it all looked so beautiful.  Interesting how a simple shift of perspective can change everything.  I sure felt better as my awareness changed. 

I recommend giving this a try whenever labeling the weather as undesirable.  Go outside and look around for the beauty.  Or, better yet, just intensely look around, instead of allowing the thoughts to label indiscriminately.  Beauty is bound to show herself. 

You may be wondering why we needed to fill the wood room again.  We really didn’t.  Except this melt was the perfect time to re-stock our supply.  If we wait for another week or two, a foot or two of snow may cover up our dwindling pile.  We spent at least 45 minutes hefting the split logs from one set of arms to another, and then stacking on top the pile in the wood room.

It feels a good accomplishment to finish that chore this afternoon.

Speaking of weather, I’m actually starting to hope for colder weather.  Yes, you heard that right.  Mostly for the sake of the ice fishermen.  You see, my brother-in-law is arriving in early March for his first-ever ice fishing spree out on the Big Lake.  We need to have good thick ice for him.  We really do.  Although I might selfishly pine for warmth, the fellows need deep ice.  So….that’s my weather order.  A couple weeks of colder weather, eh?

It's a gray, gray world

It's a gray, gray (silver!) world

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