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My Winter Walks

I should get outside for a while. Oh, but I have to put on all those clothes! Okay. I'm dressed in a coverall and boots with two hats and enormous mittens that open up so I can use my fingers. I can barely move, but I'm ready. Oh, but I have to get into my snowshoes! Okay. Got the snowshoes on and tightened up the toe strap, the arch strap, the heel strap and whatever that fourth one is for. Oh, but how do I get down the porch steps in these things? Okay. Went down the ramp--easy-peasy. Off I go, walking a little like a duck with a hernia. Oh, but when I leave the first wood and come out into the field, that wind bites! Okay. Back in the woods again. Quiet, peaceful. (Well, except for me panting with exertion.) Here's where I'm likely to see animals, often deer and always squirrels. My path circles the woods, crossing a small, seasonal stream on a log bridge that's a bit of a challenge on snowshoes. Trees overhead squeak as they're forced toget

Feelin' Like Katie Scarlett

Long ago, I had a conversation with my dad that was a little unusual. He wasn't much for talking about feelings, but what he said often comes to mind when I take my daily walk. John and I had lived in the city for the first few years of our marriage, but once we finished college, we wanted to move "home." My parents had bought property across the road from the family farm to add planting/pasture acreage, and there was an old, half-finished house there we'd played in as kids. We called and asked if they'd sell us the house, and they readily agreed, making us a very sweet deal. That was good, because the house needed work. I was lucky John is so handy, and he was lucky I'm willing to serve as gopher, painter, and fetcher of cold libations. Forty-plus years later we can't say the house is finished, but it's comfortable and we're used to its eccentricities. What I found when we moved to the property was that I couldn't get enough of walkin