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Date:11/26/2014 10:45:57 AM
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Winter
As I've mentioned before, Hal Borland used to write that he didn't need an astro-physicist to tell him the turn of the year. Although winter doesn't officially start until December 21, I consider winter to start December 1st at the latest, regardless of the weather, and earlier when there is snow staying on the ground.
I used to hate winter, until I realized that I was condemning myself to resentment for one third of the year. Up here, winter lasts from December through March. I started instead to look for the good things about winter, in order to better appreciate what the Lord has given us. I learned to delight in snow; the bright, crisp drifts shining with innumerable crystals under a bright January sun or the pale orange winter sunset when the the shadows on the snow turn cobalt blue under a powder blue sky. I love the starlit winter nights and also the full moons of December and January when the moonlight off the snowy landscape is so bright that you could read a book outside at midnight . . . if you could stand the cold.

Richard Adams, in "Watership Down" wrote, (and I paraphrase) "Those who say that they like winter are really saying that they like being proof against winter." What I think Adams means is that as hunter-gatherers, or as I would term it, countrymen, we like the feeling of being snug against the cold, with food stored against bad weather, and the relative luxury of being able to sleep in and wait out at least a few days of winter storm. I remember when my Pa had retired that he used to love a good blizzard because he had wood in his cellar, food canned and frozen in the same location, and no need to go anywhere! He would watch the snow beat against the bay window while he sipped tea and read from his Zane Grey collection. When my co-workers talk about retirement, they talk about going south for the winter. Not me; I want to spend the winter hunkered down, going out on clear days to enjoy the sun and on clear nights to track the stars. I want to see if I can get the chickadees to light on my gloved hands for birdseed and especially, when there's a good snowstorm, I want to sip tea, sit in a blanket on my Pa's old rocker, and stare out the bay window. --Gary
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