Monday, February 12, 2018


We who choose to live in southern Wisconsin accept the fact of winter. It's one of our four seasons and most of us love something about each one. When I mention to those on the outside that I'm from Wisconsin, they offer sympathies for the utter cold they associate with the state. But that's not my worry! What I dislike is dreary cold, coupled with drab, dark and lifeless landscapes.

That is not what we had today.

I would say that this was pretty close to a perfect winter day. There's snow on the ground. A nice thick cover. It's cold, but not beastly cold. The winds are calm. The sun is out! Brilliant sunshine, blue skies -- I mean, we have the works! It's the winter that I love.

(The cheepers are more tentative about their enthusiasm. Oh, chickens!)

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Breakfast, tickled pink with sunshine.

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I'm back to writing during every free moment that I can find and so morning hours are spent on this task. But just before noon, Ed and I go out to ski. He has the idea that we can forge our way along and across the disc golf course.

We see that there actually is a snowshoe trail. We follow it.

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It's a beautiful run! There are gentle hills and meandering powdery connections. There are trees, there are cut-throughs across patches of winter prairie.

And the sky remains a vivid blue. As the Olympics commentators call it -- bluebird blue!

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Immediately after, I head out to pick up Snowdrop.

We go through the usual negotiations about how to get her from school to car, given that she comes with voluminous packaging: outdoor clothes, art work, lunchbox -- the usual paraphernalia. You in car first, then I return for your stuff? No, grandma. I will wait right here. Stuff first, me later.

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On the car to farmhouse end, it's the opposite: me first, stuff later!

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She brings a lot of laughter with her. A lot. And it's contagious.

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We have plenty of quiet play as well. Drawing, for example. Yes, Snowdrop is a girl who just looooves pink.

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After a good bit of story telling (no props... just couch cushions), she asks, out of the blue (bluebird blue!) -- grandma, can we go outside?
I demure. Clouds, the late hour, the falling temperatures...
It's a little cold now. Can you wait until tomorrow? It'll be warmer then.
No, can we go out today? We can build another snowman...
The snow is still not wet enough. It will be better tomorrow. Let's play outside tomorrow?
She wont give up: can't we go out now, please?
She wins.

We take out her little sled and head for the "secret tree house."

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Oh, it's nice to see sled tracks in the snow again!

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We don't attempt a second snowman, but we surely add powder to the existing lump!

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Can you get olives for the eyes, grandma?

I do it, but I know they're fodder for the animals that routinely traverse the farmette at night.

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And still she is not done. She plunges into the deepest drifts, for once shrugging off the prickly snow that makes its way into gloves, boots, scarves.

Happiness is the freedom to romp, roll and tumble...

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... and to come in afterwards, lay your soaked mittens on the heating vent and ask to share in Ed's chocolate chip cookie.
Just one small piece, Snowdrop. One tiny little piece.