With this post I thought I would elaborate some on my Instagram shares from last week.
This one was taken back when Jake was in Hockey. We were on our way to Sault Ste Marie (The Soo), in the U.P. of Michigan for a game.
I miss that boy playing hockey.
I miss watching all those boys playing hockey together and I miss sitting in the rink conversing with their parents. I’m so happy Jake wanted to play the game, gave his dad and I some great memories.
This is King and this is the first 30’ he ran in his new sled dog boots. He was on his way to the tack room to get his dog blanket. He’s liking these boots now, though at first he wondered what he’d done wrong to be “so tortured”. Now he can actually go for a walk/run outside without his paws freezing. He “gets it” and he’s thinking snowshoes next (ha ha), you know for when it gets good and deep around here. Oh…you know it will. It must…It’s winter!! Yes!
Winter Driving Conditions.
Do they chain up? No, but the horses shoes have studs and some use extra borium (a welded on traction substance) to get a good grip and “bite” on the packed snow and ice to get around safely.
The three walnut trees at chore time and our increasing snow accumulation. (Big smile)
The pre-Jake years (before 1996) on location for a Budweiser calendar shoot in Colorado. Miss Michelob, because she wasn’t needed for any pictures, was hanging out in my car keeping toasty warm.
I knew her since the time she was a puppy and came on the West Coast hitch. She rode with me a lot back then, her and I were buds…truly. She had a bored sigh as deep and dramatic as the day is long. To this day I still miss her so much and Todd and I both still mimic her long suffering-bored sigh as a joke between the two of us.
When we first moved to Indiana, in 1998, and the folks around here got to know me, I remember someone saying, “You’re childhood sounds more Amish than the Amish around here”. I got to thinking about that and realized… Well, maybe…sort of, but not exactly.
You see, we live in a progressive Amish area here in this little part of Northern Indiana where propane or natural gas is “okay” (to run the plumbing, appliances and lights) and some church districts even allow tractors, bobcats and such these days. Not the case at “my house” during the late 70’s through the ‘80’s in northern Idaho. We had electricity. We had a washer but no dryer. We heated the house strictly with an inside woodstove and didn’t have a tractor on the place. We plowed snow with the old horse-drawn road grader or had a neighbor come plow our very long driveway. We also used a thing called a shovel…but not on that driveway. This is not to say everyone in our corner of Idaho lived like this, some roughed it far more, some far less.
My parents were both self-employed and maybe we were kinda poor…maybe. I had no idea either way, as most kids don’t until they get older. I know we never drove a brand new rig or lived in an upscale house. My mom, like many others, canned and froze everything from the garden and fruit trees. We, like many others, raised beef and pork and put it all in the freezer in the fall. We had a milk cow. We had chickens for eggs.
What a pain. What a blessing. Suffice it to say winter was easier, in some ways. There was ultimately less to do. But what there was to do took a little bit longer. I remember it best as being our down time…
We downhill skied on our ski hill just 9 miles north of town.
We played in the snow other ways…as in: built snow forts, sledded, conducted snowball fights and drug each other around on plastic sleds dallied to our saddle horns from our Quarter Horses (this was the only time we saddled up in the winter, bareback was better, smarter and warmer!).
We played cards – Double, triple or quadruple solitaire or Gin Rummy was my most favorite.
We read books.
We did inside projects and worked puzzles.
I do not remember any bad-mouthing of the snow/winter by anyone in our home. Maybe that’s where I get it from. I hope and think we’ve passed that on to our boy Jake.
The last picture above was taken by my mom. We were doing night chores. This is how we fed the steers. All… winter…long. If we didn’t have much snow then we used the other flat-bed hay wagon, the one with the wheeled running gear left on it. You see, we had one set of bobsled running gear and two flatbed hay wagons used during haying season. Dad would ready one of them with the ‘bobs” for the winter months of feeding and whatever else came up.
And yes, we did all our haying with the horses too. Except for the baling. Our neighbor across the way brought their tractor drawn baler over and took care of that, then we took care of getting it in the gigantic loft.
My mom and dad worked their tails off. I guess we all did, I know I slept real well at night…winter, spring, summer or fall. It was all good and still is!