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January 14, 2021: What I like about Winter

A few years back, a neighbor had a black bumper sticker with white lettering – it read “WINTER SUCKS.” This made me wonder what she was doing here, given that winters here are six months in length. I thought, if she doesn’t like it here, she should move. She and her husband did move. They sold their place to the fellow who now owns what I have dubbed “The Snowmobile Ranch.” Anyone and everyone who has a hot machine is invited to ride their trek and hit the trails. On the weekends, we hear them – weeee weee weeee -- and we see them. Sad to say, they love winter. And they don’t appear as though they will be leaving anytime soon. I’d do anything to have the grumpy woman and her bumper sticker back in that place.

Raudi and Hrimmi are buddies

I often wonder myself why I am here, especially when the darkness closes in. But then I have days like today in which I value winter for what it is – the polar opposite (no pun intended) of summer.

This morning, temps were in the 20s. It was overcast, and the wind was sporadic. I first took Hrimfara and the dogs out on an hour-and-a-half trail ride; then I took Raudi and Tinni out. Both mares were energized and wanted to go fast. I did let them haul ass up the hills, but I made them go slowly down hills. I saw a moose when I was riding Raudi. She was so intent on picking up the pace that she paid him little mind.

I took the dogs out once – they also seemed energized.

I got home and went to town, to the Meeting House. I removed the BLT books from the upper shelves in the church library, and I set them on the long table in the other room. Beautiful books on all aspects of gay culture. Lots of lesbian fiction. I had hardly read any of these books. Here, I thought, was a well-rounded reader. A student named Arin took the books – said she’ll take them home and look through them, select what she wants, then store the rest in the Mat-Su student government office.

I was really pleased to have gotten these books into good hands. Otherwise, they would have remained on the shelf. An added bonus was that I then had extra shelf space. I put the theological books on the left side of the room with the theological books on the right side of the room. Then I put the books in boxes, from the recycling center, on the shelves on the left-hand side. By the time I was done, the room looked less like a repository for abandoned books and more like a library. The beauty of this system is that I can easily find like-books when I’m getting ready to do distribution.

I came home and cleaned the horse pen. As I was coming up the hill, I saw the very welcoming sight of the interior lights. And as I entered the door, I felt the heat that was emanating from the woodstove. Light and warmth, if there was no winter, I would not appreciate both to the degree that I do.

Next: 15. 1/15/21: Commonalities

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