Hurrah – I can go outside again!

January 14 – It has been so cold every day since Christmas that I can hardly believe we are scheduled for temps in the 40-50 range, with a possibility of one day in the sixties this week! There for awhile, I was wondering if I would ever get out for a walk again. Finally, a couple days ago, when I just couldn’t stand the thought of another day inside, I wrapped a long scarf around my neck, put on a nice warm stocking cap, grabbed a nice thick pair of gloves, and out I went.

Poor Dale, who detests cold weather, had a good reason–yes, reason, not excuse– to stay inside anyway. He has been suffering from a lot of pain because of the problem with ingrown toe nails. He hobbles around with one shoe on and one shoe off (just like Wee Willie Winkie, only he doesn’t wear a night gown or cry up and down in the town), and spends a good part of the day sitting and reading in the recliner by the window.

Out in the sticks...

Out in the sticks…

At first I had planned to walk the trails all along our property, but thought maybe I would do something useful instead. With the wheelbarrow all ready to haul away the load, I picked up all kinds of tree branches, some big, some small, but enough to make a big load to wheel back to one of the burning piles. It would be nice to see if I could set fire to the pile, but never gave it a second thought – every section of the pile was full of ice.

On the pond side of our property, after I had picked up a bunch of big branches (some heavy enough that I could take but one at a time), I went to investigate the pond. How I was tempted to see if the ice was solid enough for me to walk on it, but after I thought it over for awhile, I figured it was better to stand on the bank and just look. If our dog were still around to go walking, she would probably have slid from one side to the other, but I was glad she wasn’t there, breaking through the ice into the frigid water.

Fire and smoke

Fire and smoke

Dale hasn’t been out for awhile, even to burn all the papers in the big barrel, so I thought I would give him a little surprise. Since he was busy writing e-mails, I tried to drag the big barrel down to the burning can by the barn. The lawn was so hard and bumpy that the barrel just refused at times to budge. Finally, I showed it who was boss – I picked up the bottom of the barrel and just carried it until my arms wouldn’t hold it any longer.

By the third try, there I was, dumping all of the old papers, cereal boxes, and everything else that had helped to fill that container. Out came the big box of matches, and after losing four lighted ones to the wind, I made a little cave with papers all around, and was able to set the papers on fire. After walking around the lawn, picking up stuff that had blown away as I dumped the barrel, I put it in with the rest of the trash, and enjoyed the warmth that was coming from the fire. Since Dale hasn’t mentioned that fire, I guess he hasn’t noticed yet that the barrel is empty. It’s nice to pull a bit of a surprise on him, because he always knows what’s going on! – CHRIS

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