Snow–Cold–Snow–Really Cold. It’s another winter day here in Wisconsin. We haven’t had a winter like this since the 1970s. Many of the kids (20 and 30 somethings) who wait on me in stores and vet offices are experiencing their first “real” Wisconsin winter. They were either toddlers or just a twinkle in their parents’ eyes when we last had this kind of weather. Everything from driving to work (First you have to dig the car out and then move the ridge of snow the plows throw up just to get out of the driveway.) to just walking out to get the mail requires an effort .
I find a lot of memories of the home I grew up in and my teens and early twenties flashing back to mind. The smell of snow–on the ground or just about ready to fall. Walking back to the house after taking care of my animal at dusk. The sweet smell of oak smoke. Doing the chores of cleaning and watering on a bright day, sweating while the cold burns my face. Listening to the dry rasp of snow brushed by the wind into long curving drifts. The quiet with just a blue jay scolding me from the brush. The vibrant contrast of cardinal red and jay blue against the dead white of a fresh snowfall. The tracks of rabbit, deer, cat, squirrel, and coyote. The herring bone prints of snowbirds and mourning doves, stories in untouched white–a feather, a wing brush.
On a day like this, I would have thrown a hackamore on my horse and ridden bareback for an hour where the snow wasn’t too deep. On a day like this, I would have called a friend to run a few miles on the hard packed country roads. On a day like this, I would have cleaned the barn–by hand with a pitchfork and wheelbarrow, struggling through the drifts. On a day just like this. Begonia