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Snow Days

Jan
14

I love the snow.

In spite of all my drama about driving in it.

I’ve always wanted to live some place where it snows like this. There’s something both inherently peaceful and innocently magical about it.

It tumbles on fenceposts….

…..and slides down rails.

It’s real winter. I love the soft crunch of the snow beneath my boots. I don’t even mind going out to do chores. In fact, the chores get me out of the house, where I might stay huddled away by the fire otherwise. It feels good to get outside, to crunch in the snow and breathe the crisp air. (I bring water to the chickens several times a day with my watering can.)

But it does make life difficult–more than it should.

I think they had it right in the old days when everything was close to home. One-room schoolhouses in every tiny community, little white steepled churches around every bend in the road, mom-and-pop storefronts on farms. What you couldn’t get nearby or didn’t have stocked away, you didn’t really need.

You walked everywhere you needed to go or took your horse and buggy. Doctors made house calls.

My father went to school in a one-room schoolhouse just across the river from our farm. He grew up about a mile down the road. My grandmother was the teacher. On snowy mornings, I can almost see them walking down the road in their coats and mittens.

They didn’t have to worry about getting to school. It was no trouble to walk down the road.

My great-grandfather kept a little store by the road on his farm, also just across the river. Anyone who needed anything could walk there, too.

The church was in the meadow bottom on our farm. No excuses for missing Sunday services when it was snowing. You could walk.

There was even a swinging bridge across the river back in those days.

Now…..

Now we are so very, very sophisticated with our super-stores (20 miles away)….

….and our centralized schools (20 miles away)….

….and our high-powered vehicles (that sometimes can’t get 20 miles away).

We were so much more self-sufficient when we arranged our lives so we could just walk everywhere we needed to go.

We can’t do that now because we are too….

….sophisticated.

Sometimes it seems as if the only ones still livin’ right….

…..are dogs.


P.S. Someone will ask where Dookie was. He was in the house sleeping by the fire. He’s old and he’s a shih tsu (which is a chronically cold dog). And he’s smarter than those two nuts.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 14, 2010  

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  1. 1-14
    4:52
    am

    Holy moly, don’t those two crazy dogs know it’s cold? I assume from the pictures that they love the white stuff. Great pics by the way.

  2. 1-14
    4:59
    am

    Great pics of the dogs playing. What a joy to watch those two play.

  3. 1-14
    5:06
    am

    You are so right Suzanne! But could there be a Starbucks nearby? Or could the mom and pop little store make out of this world cafe mocha’s with whipped cream? Mmmmm….I need coffee right now to go with all those beautiful pics of the snow. Great shots of the dogs playing!

  4. 1-14
    5:17
    am

    I can remember my great uncle once asking about my family going on vacation. His world was one of walking…to him twenty miles would have been a vacation away. He thought that if we were going to vacation it didn’t require more than a five mile trip.

  5. 1-14
    5:29
    am

    Has your big snow melted by now? It hasn’t seemed to have snowed much in our part of the world for a while [near you, but not quite the mountains] – I was just wondering …. And we hit warmer temps today, so if you still have the snow perhaps it will melt down some.

  6. 1-14
    5:42
    am

    It’s all about working harder so we can hand all our money over to some corporation rather than keep it in our own communities. Progress sure is amazing isn’t it.

    I love the trust that Boomer has. He knows the Giant Puppy could swallow him whole with one bite, but never will.

  7. 1-14
    5:44
    am

    Love the pictures of the dogs playing….what a life.

  8. 1-14
    6:13
    am

    :happyflower: What a wonderful life!! :happyflower:
    Hugs Granny Trace

  9. 1-14
    6:38
    am

    the dogs have it right i agree :snoopy:

  10. 1-14
    6:39
    am

    i ALMOST like snow after seeing all your beautiful snow…ALMOST :help:

  11. 1-14
    6:56
    am

    The dogs playing were cute. I love the last picture of them walking back to the house just as if they had a hard working day. lol.

    My dog loves the snow. He is short and its funny when it got deeper than he is all. He had to plow though it. My dh dug out a path in the yard so the dog would have someplace he could go and pee and walk around. He will still jump into the deep snow and roll around in it. lol.

  12. 1-14
    6:59
    am

    Yes, I guess that would be the word…..sophisticated.

    Coco and Boomer sure do love the snow!!!! Dogs have the life….as I’m looking at my 2, just lazing out after getting fed. I’ve been thinking of getting a harness for them to pull the grandkids through the snow! LOL!

    Renegade Farmer! You’re a renegade!!!! :lol: Wonder how far that goes….will have to go check out the program! Congratulations!

  13. 1-14
    7:01
    am

    You are right. Many times I wished I could have been born in an earlier time. I’m a pioneer woman at heart. I went to school in a two-room school house till sixth grade when they built a new school. I remember the big black steam locomotives going by the school. Diesels were only just beginning to go by once in a great while and every one would stop to watch them. I remember our teacher saying that diesels were the thing of the future and the locomotives would someday be gone. I walked a mile to the school bus when I was six years old and in first grade. And, this was back in the 1950s. Things were simpler then. I’m often glad I grew up when I did, but I’m still a “pioneer settler” at heart.

  14. 1-14
    7:05
    am

    AAAAhhhhhh……..it’s online!! Duh!!!! Wonderful, can’t wait to listen….and maybe call in!!!

  15. 1-14
    7:05
    am

    Thanks for posting each day…always inspiring!

  16. 1-14
    7:06
    am

    I love the snow on the trees it looks like a winterwonderland!We used to bundle up and play in the snow off and on all day. We had a great hill to sled on back then,You could’nt sled there now cuz of all the trafftic! It’s not even really safe to walk on that rd now!

  17. 1-14
    7:09
    am

    Great pics of the dogs! Coco looks so majestic in that first pic of the two dogs together. What a great painting that would make! Do you happen to have the high resolution copy of that picture, by any chance, that I could perhaps use for a painting?

    Hmmmm…I should probably go out in the snow and feed the chickens too. I like it better when the ground is not frozen and I can dig in it. When its too cold to grow things, I landscape – love to dig! I will be thrilled when the snow melts.

  18. 1-14
    7:21
    am

    I could spend all day just looking at your photos. You seem to be able to catch the true spirit of your animals. And give Dookie some extra loving for me.

  19. 1-14
    7:27
    am

    Amen, sister!

  20. 1-14
    7:41
    am

    Interesting and thought-provoking post, Suzanne, and fits in with what I was thinking on my way to work this morning. I go past several large pay-to-work-out gyms. Fifty years ago, other than ‘gyms’ where boxers went to train, there were no gyms like this. People got their exercise working either on their farms taking care of crops and animals or doing hard physical labor on jobs in the towns and cities. But now we have a whole big industry that takes your money every month for the privelege of working out on equipment that actually does most of the work for you! Ironic, isn’t it?
    I want snow. Real snow, not fake Dallas, Texas snow. Something that lasts and crunches and sparkles in the sunshine and coats every fence post and every gistens in the moonlight. Missouri Snow. Or West Virginia Snow. Thank you for sharing.

  21. 1-14
    7:47
    am

    I love your blog, Suzanne. Yesterday’s post on the cat opening the door and leaving the others in was priceless! Any cat lover would LOVE it! Today’s post and the pictures of the dogs was equally wonderful! And I agree about getting out and walking around in that crunchy snow! I always feel better when I come back inside.

  22. 1-14
    8:09
    am

    I totally agree with you. Simple life had to be so much less stressful. Our twenty four hour a day society has turned most of us into anxiety ridden basket cases. Even our children are stressed out. Neighbors don’t even know each other, much less help one another. Progress is great and wonderful and exciting, but I often wonder if the negatives outweigh the positives.

  23. 1-14
    8:11
    am

    You are so right. Great pictures

  24. 1-14
    8:16
    am

    Great post, wonderful photos! I too love the snow it’s so beautiful from my warm kitchen window . . .however it’s the abrupt chill of that first trip to the barn for hay at 6am and the even more daunting task of hauling 20 gallons of water for the horses because the water pump in the shed is frozen that makes me say, “Enough Already!” Reading your posts reminds me I’m not alone. Thank you! Keep warm . . .

  25. 1-14
    8:42
    am

    Thanks for sharing “snow” with me. I’m near Galveston and NASA and even though it has snowed twice since I’ve lived here, it was nothing like what you’ve just had. I spent several years on top of a mountain and remember the fairytale sights of snow-covered trees arching over the road and creating enclosed lacey castles.

  26. 1-14
    8:42
    am

    It’s a love/hate relationship we have with the snow, don’t you think? The beauty is truly breathtaking but the hardships it causes can be very frustrating. The long period of cold is hard to take, but yes, it feels invigorating to breathe that fresh, cold air. And then we so appreciate the warmth and a hot cup of something when we go back inside.
    It’s interesting to think about the pros and cons of progress. They certainly got lots of good exercise back in our grandfather’s day and life seemed more simple, but in a lot of ways it wasn’t.
    Seeing these photos of the dogs playing is so much fun. They delight in each other and delight us at the same time. Your photos are truly beautiful! Thanks for sharing them. :hug:

  27. 1-14
    8:51
    am

    I love those dogs! I love the looks on their faces while they tussle with each other, they are so happy :happyflower:

  28. 1-14
    8:54
    am

    I agree totally! My family came from very similar community(Lead Hill, Arkansas)that had a church, schoolhouse and one store. It’s still there but now has 4 churches!

  29. 1-14
    8:55
    am

    I agree with you Suzanne…I love snow…the only time I didn’t like it was about March when it’s brown and everything is dripping wet (they get 40-60 FEET of snowfall where I used to live each winter). But it looked so beautiful..like a winter wonderland and there was so much to do outside…we were always pulling sleighs or skiing or skating or throwing snowballs and making snow angels. Now that I’m in my 50’s …I’m glad we don’t get much snow…but I miss it in December.

  30. 1-14
    8:56
    am

    Love the “boomer leaping” and the “boomer resting on giant puppy” photos. Fantastic. Thanks so much for the smile today!

  31. 1-14
    9:14
    am

    I had a really fun time watching Coco and Boomer play in the snow. Maybe I wouldn’t dislike the snow so much if I had entertainment like that to go along with it!

  32. 1-14
    9:22
    am

    Your pictures are like watching television in high definition. It’s almost like you could reach out and touch your sweet little doggies. Gorgeous snow pictures and writing. Here, snow is the reason for the New England Farmhouse style where the barn is attached to the house by way of an enclosed breezeway.

  33. 1-14
    9:28
    am

    My mom has 3 Shih tsus and they are always in the warm spots of the house, especially the momma who lays in sunbeams all day. I too have often thought about by gone communities, close together and more of a village than an urban sprawl which I despise.

  34. 1-14
    9:30
    am

    Food for thought AND charming dog photos in the same post??? You rock, Suzanne!!! Thanks again for putting to pen (er, keypad)the random thoughts that I have rambling around my brain. It was a truly lovely post.

  35. 1-14
    9:30
    am

    You live in real-life Narnia! It’s winter all the time and the animals talk! :lol:

    Seriously, though, it’s beautiful. I love the resting, quiet time of winter.

    I wish we could live in simpler times too.

  36. 1-14
    9:39
    am

    I long for simpler times too. The dogs are having such a fun time great pictures Suzanne. Snow is just the BEST! :snoopy:

  37. 1-14
    9:50
    am

    Could there be a Star Bucks (com.#3) and indoor toilets???

  38. 1-14
    9:51
    am

    Awesome pictures. Thanks You !!

  39. 1-14
    10:06
    am

    The dogs were having a great time! Thanks for letting us share in their fun. Besides,if you kept them in the house they would just gamble away their paychecks!

  40. 1-14
    10:39
    am

    Thank you the great pics! Gotta love that “Napoleon” attitude….little dogs never seem to know they’re little! Maybe because they aren’t as vain as humans… or maybe it’s because they are more vain and just know they’re perfect?… Either way…they don’t feel the need to look in mirrors!

  41. 1-14
    10:52
    am

    Another great set of pictures! The dogs look like they are having a blast! You are so right about how “sophisticated” we are. Our nearest superstore is 70 miles away, thankfully we have some little grocery stores in town, 15 miles away but I like living out of town no matter what! Enjoy your snow!

  42. 1-14
    11:05
    am

    I absolutely LOVE your photos!! What type of camera do you use?

  43. 1-14
    11:17
    am

    Except, simpler times were not so simple. Growing up in the 40’s in the coalfields of West Va. was a nightmare in the winter time. It was no fun trodding through two feet of snow in zero weather to get to the out-house (cold seats and a sears robuck catalog for toilet tissue). We had to carry water from the well for everything and then heat it on the cook stove in the kitchen . We got a bath in the big galvanized wash tub on saturday night (whether we needed it or not). Washing and drying clothes in winter was no fun either. School was always open, if you made it ok, if not, ok. We didn’t know how hard it was because it was the norm. We had just as much fun playing in the snow as your dogs,as much fun as if we had good sense. Most kids now-days don’t know what hard times are, even the poorest. My dad was a coal miner and there were days that we never knew where the next meal would come from. No such thing as food stamps or surplus gov. food. We survived.

  44. 1-14
    11:19
    am

    The pups look like they are having so much fun! Personally, I love the way snow looks but I wouldn’t want to live in an area that gets it. I’m like Dookie, I don’t like cold.

  45. 1-14
    11:33
    am

    How I LOVE these pictures! Sigh…I can’t wait until I can get a dog again.

    My dad went to school in a country school, too, and I tell you what – those teachers really taught him well.

  46. 1-14
    11:35
    am

    I so needed this today. I work for a University and today we were advised of another round of program cuts due to budget shortfalls. Many important programs will not survive this cut, many of my colleages will lose their employment. As an old 60’s chick, i have always believed in living simply, however the challenge seems to be greater by the day to live in the structure we have created. This blog is one of the places I come for sanity.
    Todays pictures made me laugh (my dogs do this continually) and your words filled me up. Thank you Suzanne.

  47. 1-14
    11:44
    am

    I wish I had your love for the snow. It would make getting through the winter a whole lot easier. The pictures of the dogs at play really made my day. I got to say I really enjoy reading your blog. All the best from Canada.

  48. 1-14
    11:56
    am

    :happyflower: Great post with great pictures! Thanks!

  49. 1-14
    11:59
    am

    Smart Boomer—sit on Coco so your butt doesn’t get cold.
    Loved seeing the fun pics today.
    They brought back many memories of fun times, in years past.
    Thank you

  50. 1-14
    12:01
    pm

    I love the blog today and I am so happy that you enjoy snow. I know there are lots of others that do enjoy it but I lived 6 years in MA and had enough snow to last me a lifetime. I’m so happy to be back in the south where “if” it snows, it’s gone by midday…I just can’t handle all that cold.

  51. 1-14
    12:03
    pm

    I love the picture where Boomer is biting Coco’s lip!

  52. 1-14
    12:21
    pm

    Playing in the cold water in the snow? Crazy dogs!

  53. 1-14
    12:51
    pm

    Coco: Snow? What snow?!
    Boomer: Beats me, I don’t see the problem!

  54. 1-14
    1:19
    pm

    Totally enjoyed the dog photos and your accompanying thoughts. Good luck with your interview.

  55. 1-14
    1:38
    pm

    Beautiful post!

  56. 1-14
    1:56
    pm

    I agree with Shirley T in post 41. Although this was the norm, I’m sure it makes people who grew up in those times more appreciative of what they have, and not take so much for granted. It makes me feel more like lifes simple things are a treasure.

  57. 1-14
    2:05
    pm

    Wow….exactly right! “Everything” is about 20 miles away….but since I’ve preserved most of my own food…the only thing I really need from the store is milk. (I should just get a cow for as much milk as we use.)

  58. 1-14
    3:26
    pm

    Isn’t it amazing how vicious they can look when they “play”? I have two cats that do the same thing lol.

  59. 1-14
    3:57
    pm

    I long for simpler days too. I drove twenty minutes to take my little girl to the doctor (she’s fine) today and twenty minutes to pick up the kids from school. I also got a call from my Mom saying the jewelry she bought the girls for Christmas (Made in China) is being recalled. It made me feel better to see your post and realize I’m not alone in wanting a simpler life. Most of my kid’s friends mothers are shocked when they find out I can, cook from scratch and sew, etc.. Unfortunately I am incorporating these simpler things on top of the modern rat race. I do appreciate modern conveniences (sp) but there is something about the pace and drive of life nowadays that seems off.

  60. 1-14
    4:26
    pm

    GAAHH – I want those 2 nutty dogs! They are precious!!

  61. 1-14
    4:36
    pm

    Love the pics! Thanks for sharing.
    I would be in the house with Dookie.

  62. 1-14
    4:53
    pm

    BrynCalyn, my camera is in the sidebar–it’s a Canon S5IS.

  63. 1-14
    7:00
    pm

    They make life look so wonderful! I remember when I was a child we used to love to love to go play in the snow, my little Brother and I. And it seems to me it felt just like that, frolicky. Until it soaked into our gloves and through our shoes. Then we would go inside and Mama would strip our winter layers off and we would stand in front of the roaring fireplace with the homemade hot chocolate she had made until we had thawed. What memories! Your farm, and your animals bring them back to me so much, I am so grateful to you for your blog, Suzanne. Keep up the awesome work, you do such a good job. I am truly enjoying all the ideas and recipes too! Oh and yesterday’s pictures had me in stitches! Blessings honey! And give that special cat of yours a kiss for me, she is wonderful!

  64. 1-14
    7:28
    pm

    You know if you had a couple of more giant puppies you could go dog sledding.

  65. 1-14
    8:15
    pm

    Well said, Suzanne.

  66. 1-14
    9:47
    pm

    Sounds like you need a snowmobile to get to the end of the lane. I would give anything to live where you do!!!

  67. 1-14
    10:14
    pm

    Doesn’t matter how big you are, you always think your TOP DOG! :snoopy:

  68. 1-14
    11:17
    pm

    Great photos of the doggies. Our pyr loves snow too and so does our black cat Twinkle. He’s an inside cat but when there’s snow on the deck we let him out to play in it.

  69. 1-15
    1:46
    pm

    Can’t get enough of the dog photos. They know how to enjoy life the way people USED to. :snoopy:

  70. 1-16
    11:27
    am

    Small and local. Some people, smarter people than I, think that is what we will eventually get back to. They feel that the energy and food shortages will cause it. Read old “Crunchy Con” posts. They choose small locally owned stores over “Wally World” when they can. Of course, “they” can afford to. The rest of us will have to do the best we can.

    Does it normally snow this much in West Virginia? Many, MANY years ago, my husband had his first white water rafting trip on the Cheat River in W.Va. It ruined him for white water rafting because it was the most exciting trip he every had, it had been raining and the river was really wild. He never went on one as exciting since. Any way, he just raved about the area but he needs snow and lots of it in the winter to be happy. I want mountains. If it snows a lot there maybe he and I could find a way to “retire” there.

  71. 1-16
    11:56
    am

    Debbie, it has snowed more for us where we are in WV this year than it has in the last few years. How much it snows depends on the area, though. Some parts of WV receive huge amounts of snow! There are a lot of ski resorts here. You can definitely get mountains AND snow in West Virginia! If you want a lot of snow, google for ski resorts in WV. The towns/counties where you find the ski resorts will be the areas that receive the most snow. (No ski resorts in the county where I live–this is not normally a huge snow area.)

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The Slanted Little House

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