Just think of budding trees and balmy breezes

Just think of budding trees and balmy breezes By Bob Karolevitz It's not as much fun to be snow-bound as it used to be.

There was a time when we looked forward to being isolated on the farm with impassable roads. We were snug as a bug, played cards, listened to music, read a lot and stuffed ourselves with holiday goodies.

We peered out through frost-covered windows at Nature's wrath, knowing we were safe and secure. Fire crackled in the fireplace, and I had hauled in enough wood to last for days. There was plenty of food in the pantry, too.

We didn't care that we couldn't get to town. Shucks, we couldn't even get to the mailbox a quarter of a mile away just in case the rural carrier got through. We were self-sufficient, and there was something even romantic about the situation.

Now it's not the same!

Being a couple of septuagenarians, we still peer out of the frost-covered windows, but instead of enjoying the storm, we worry about somebody coming to dig us out.

"What if we have an emergency?" Phyllis asks. Then it dawns on me that neither of us has completed our CPR training.

We play cards, but we're not as relaxed as we once were. "What if the power goes out?" I think. Then I fuss and fret about the wood supply.

Phyllis wonders if the animals are okay in the barn and pole shed. We argue about going out to feed them. Eggs will freeze and crack in the nests if we don't get them in. Believe me, there's nothing romantic about that!

Before long we both develop a case of cabin fever, and there aren't any shots for that particular disease. It becomes very clear that we wouldn't have made it as pioneers. Have we become winter-time sissies in this dot.com age?

I tell Phyllis we should think back to horse-and-buggy days when country folks didn't have four-wheel-drive vehicles, television doppler weather reports and fancy snow-blowers. They even burned next year's seed corn just to stay warm. They played euchre by flickering lamp light and fretted not about getting to the clinic � because it didn't exist then.

Talking about the rigors of homesteaders on the bleak prairie helps. So does a little foolish banter which is my wont. After all, it's just a matter of hours � not weeks like in the old days � before we see a cab-enclosed tractor coming down our road to set us free.

Last week I wrote about how I enjoyed being inside when December winter raged. However, that was when our driveway was not plugged up. There's a big difference between cozy comfort and not getting out if you have to.

I suppose it's a matter of age. I can remember riding out through the drifts on the drawbar of a neighbor's tractor to make a speech date. I wouldn't do that any more. Of course, this makes it sound like Phyllis and I are ready to move to town or to warmer climes.

Nothing could be further from the truth! We just don't like being snow-bound any more, that's all.

Peering out through frost-covered windows with a hot toddy in my hand is still fun � but only if the roadway is open "just in case." I guess I could get a snowmobile to make sure we weren't completely marooned, but just thinking of the two of us riding out on one of those machines is mighty laughable.

The way time flits by, it won't be long until it's spring-time again. The joy of budding trees and balmy breezes will blunt our memory of the winter past.

Come to think of it, I can hardly wait!

© 2000 Robert F. Karolevitz

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