2011 is blowing in with gusto. The sun is peeking through the gray clouds in orange and yellow streaks, and the wind is blowing snow in powdery clouds across the ground. The cold is seeping into the house, undeterred by the caulking I so carefully put around the windows this fall. The temperature huddles around -2 or so, not accounting for the 20 mph Windchill, which is rumored to be about -20. I don’t like to think of the Windchill. It is, in fact, a very normal day for us, slightly cooler perhaps, but certainly not uncommon.
Today I plan to stay indoors and put a puzzle together with my kids, maybe sew a little, maybe watch some Andy Griffith. Meanwhile, My Cowboy is battling the elements for the health, indeed, the very lives of the young stock in his care. They have lost a few head in the last week, and that is not a good thing. Sometimes the weather wins. Sometimes the cowboys win. It is a constant battle. But its what a man is made for, I think. To struggle against the odds, and win. To succeed at a difficult task, to throw all their energy and will into conquering, and to conquer. Its what makes me feel safe with My Cowboy when we go camping, its what makes me unafraid in any situation with him, and its what makes me want to pull my hair out at times! But for all you that work or study indoors most of your time…this is why My Cowboy is not as eager to spend his one precious day off, to go work like crazy on a basketball court! No offense to those of you who like sports, of course. 🙂
We do have some fun here on the X-Bar, though. A few days ago, we all piled into the suburban, including another cowboy, and went sledding. We drove through the ranch to find a hill suitably steep for our sleds. We went sliding, spinning, and plowing through snowdrifts so deep that snow went spraying up on each side of the suburban. Since the land was more or less flat, I didn’t mind, but when we started spinning when we were close to a fence, I ‘almost’ screamed. I didn’t want my new rig to get scratched. Well, its not really new, but it is new for us. My Cowboy just laughed, and said that it already had some dings. He delights in making me nervous on snow. He says I have an unreasonable fear of snowy roads. He’s right. I admit it. While I rarely/never scream about mice, snakes, or even my deadly fear – spiders, I will, on occasion, scream about a snowy road. Or at least, I used to. Till I married My Cowboy. It makes him grin. And I don’t like to feel like I am being childish. (which of course I am.) So I have willed myself to stop screaming, and just accept the fact that I will likely die on an icy road, someday.
Back to sledding. We found a spot that looked good. A hill right beside Lake Sodergreen. ( yeah, we do have a lake on our ranch.) So we haul the sleds out, and take turns going down the hill on the big toboggan that My Cowboy made over Christmas. It has tin on the bottom, 2×2’s for a frame, and a plastic ‘curl’ at the front. Oh, and a old extension cord for the handle. When I asked My Cowboy why he used that, he said that “it was handy”. Smart. Not necessarily rustic or cute, but very smart. I thought the sled looked rather heavy and unwieldy, but I didn’t say anything. It was a good thing I kept my mouth shut, too, cause that homemade sled is the best sled I have rode on in a long time. Maybe ever. It goes fast and smooth.
Then My Cowboy tired of sledding down a straight hill, with the only challenge being to stop before you go over the bank and drop into the canal. So he formed a new sled-trail. Down the hill at an angle, over the snow-covered road, (2-track dirt road) and down the bank onto the lake. It was certainly a longer, faster ride. And more interesting. At least to the cowboys, who thought it funny that I would scream over a fast sled ride. I explained that I was afraid that the combined weight of My Cowboy and I on one sled would result in breaking through the ice. Which wouldn’t be a good thing in 8* weather. But My cowboy just grinned, and said that it would hold us. He is so annoyingly right, all the time. It did hold us. In fact, while the guys alone would end on the lake, with my added weight, My Cowboy and I went clear over that corner of the lake, and partway up the other bank.
Then the other cowboy decided to use the toboggan as a snowboard. I have to admit, it crossed my mind that it would be funny if he fell headlong, but nope. He was good. He stayed upright the whole way. Crazy guy. Unfortunately, it was just too cold to stay real long, and we ended up going home soon, because of the bitter cold. Hot Chocolate and marshmallows, anyone?