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Gray Winter

I suppose this happens to everyone in northern climes around this time of year: you can’t wait for spring to arrive. Not that winter isn’t beautiful. It’s just that certain things can only be done in the other three seasons when the ground isn’t frozen or it isn’t 30 degrees below.

Like horseback riding. I’ve been riding a few times this winter when the temperature got up around zero. But then, with a high temp like that, you also get things like thaw and freezing rain – both of which make the ground icey and too dangerous to ride on. Every day, day after day, I feed our horses and smell that warm earthy smell of their coats and manes and it makes me pretty much crazed to be around them more, to go for a walk, a ride, even just hang out with them. But 30 below is no joke, celsius or fahrenheit, and human flesh can only take it so long outside.

Then there’s gardening… and for me, building stuff and fencing. I have had the materials for a shed under a tarp all winter, waiting for soft ground to be able to auger holes to anchor it. (Gee, thanks climate change, we now have to anchor sheds so they don’t blow away in 100+kmph winds.) Nora is going squirrely with gardening plans. She’s going to grow amaranthus, oats and a few more apple trees in a grassy area this year. I’m almost afraid of spring because of it. She’s going to be so busy I’ll never see her!

Me, I keep looking at the fences and thinking yup, after my vegetable garden is planted, there’s the whole summer right there. Not that I’m dreading it. It’s just I can see every post hole, every strand of barbed wire, every sawn 2×6 laid out for me till the snow flies again in the fall. I just can’t wait for the temperature to warm up so I can get at it – and burn off some Christmas dinner and Robbie Burns dinner and those fourteen bags of cheetos I ate during the Olympics…