I’m from Texas. West Texas. You know, the desert. It’s hot and dry. There really isn’t a winter. We went rollerskating in shorts on most Christmas afternoons. It did snow a few times in the 24 years I was there. Once on Halloween, once on Easter, once it dumped 20 inches on the day the Sun Bowl was supposed to happen. That all melted by the next day, of course.
Here, though, being snow covered for the entire winter feels normal to me now. The panic before the first snow fall is that whatever gets buried will most likely be buried for months, until a mid-winter freeze which might happen but most likely won’t.
Things take longer in the winter when you are constantly dealing with snow and ice. Water is harder to provide. The critters will all eat some snow, but mostly, we haul five-gallon buckets. One of the things about this new place is that we do a lot of hauling up hills, slippery hills. My knees are not very happy about this, nor are my wrists. I try to get Frank to haul the buckets for me before he leaves for work every morning, then I just keep them topped up throughout the day, and bring them all back down to be filled again for tomorrow. It’s sort of working.
We are finding out that the roof on this house has huge icicles, which means it’s not very well insulated, so that will have to be fixed. The dripping roof makes ice dams all over the place. We can’t currently get in or out of the door on the deck. Rock salt has been purchased and whacking away at it has begun, but a better solution must be found.
If I keep the pathways shoveled, the chickens will happily come out and forage. The ducks and geese sort of like the snow and will take snow baths in it all day, every day, especially in fresh powder. They roll and lay in it in a sort of very odd dance. I’ll try to get it on video, but when I come out and point the camera at them, they all freeze and refuse to dance on queue.
The dogs, the sheep, the turkeys — none of them mind the snow in the least. The dogs all love it. You’ve never seen a happier Pyr or Icie than one who is playing in the snow. The giddy party that goes on for hours is so much fun to watch. SNOW! They were all clearly bred to handle the snow without blinking. They Pyrs all have places where they could shelter under cover. But do they? Of course not.
The turkeys, either. Frank keeps reminding me that wild turkeys flourish all over the state without barns so it’s no surprise that these guys do, too. They much prefer to be out in the open, way up high, and just snuggle together if the weather is particularly nasty, something like ice or sleet. That they don’t really like, but snow? Psh. They barely notice.
I actually like it snow covered pretty well myself. It’s so much better than mud season. Oh how I hate mud season. But if you are snow-covered all winter long, then mud season is pretty well guaranteed as all that snow melts. I’m not going to think about that now, though. Instead I’ll just live in the moment, the now, the snow covered world that I’m surrounded by. I’ve got my boots, my winter Tilley hat, my new gloves, my wintersilks, my wool socks.
My Texas relatives would not recognize me and how normal this feels to me now. Winter. It feels normal. I’ve really come to enjoy living somewhere with such distinctive seasons.