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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Oct 25, 2013

I can’t say I am ready for winter. Of course, I do not believe I have ever been ready for winter at any time of my life.

The early signs of winter are in place. The windows are shut tight. The thermostat has been set in the heat position. I am reaching for a blanket more often.

Then there is the increasing hours of darkness. It is getting dark earlier and we are still on Daylight Saving Time.

I see many harvested fields and some that have been readied for spring. I am ready for spring.

We had our first forecast of snow, although with temperatures in the 40s it won’t last long.

There is no mistake that winter is knocking on our door.

I am trying to not complain because I do not have a lot to complain about compared to winters of years ago.

Neither my wife nor I have to be anywhere each day as we no longer observe a 40-hour work week. The main clock watching we do now is for doctor appointments.

Winter is the time of year when what were simple livestock chores become difficult livestock chores. That is, if you have livestock. Does having a dog count?

Water tanks that were not a problem since last spring are now a problem as heaters are installed.

It has been 25 years since I had to chop frozen silage off a silo wall, but I remember it all too well.

Certain tractors are prepared for cold weather starting and others are parked until next spring.

At least a case of ether is purchased and put in an easy-to-reach place.

Obviously, I am not one of those northerners who go south each winter, but I am starting to see why they do.

My problem is that I want to take all my stuff with me, and I do have a lot of stuff. It’s easier to stay put and wait winter out.

We are just over a month away from the holiday hubbub, and that is something I complain about.

The best parts are the gatherings of close family, especially those wonderful little children, some of whom are not so little anymore.

I am not a complete Grinch, I just sound like one.

Winter just has its own circumstances that do not exist the rest of the year, like poor driving conditions, respiratory diseases and extra warm clothes.

When we are safe at home during a blizzard, it can be quite cozy as long as we have power and heat.

Winter can have its moments, and some of my favorite winter memories when in grade school were those days of no school due to snow.

Well, since winter is on its way, it is time to check the LP tank, make sure we have seed for the bird feeder, bring the garden hose into the garage and look for things that might get damaged or lost in the snow.

It happens every year and next spring like the bears emerging from winter hibernation, we will walk outside, squinting our eyes in the bright sun, realize that we have made it through another winter, and say, “Thank God, that is done.”

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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