The First Day of Winter

Winter seems to have arrived right on time this year. A noteworthy snowfall here in the Thumb of Michigan has indeed been delivered on the first day of winter.

I’m not really a big fan of snow, despite the fact that I live in Michigan. I’m much more of a summer person – one of my favorite ways to pass the time in summer is relaxing under a shade tree with a book. In winter, I would much rather curl up on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa and wait for spring than even think about leaving the house. However, since that is entirely unrealistic, I’m enjoying my last hour of warmth before I must don my winter gear and venture out to the barn to do chores.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like helping my family out with chores. It is a good feeling to know you’re doing important work alongside people you love. What doesn’t feel quite as nice, though, is everything from your nose to your toes going numb because of the biting wind and deep snow drifts.

For years, I struggled with the unfairness of it all (like most children, I was convinced that life simply had to be democratic and fair – silly me). I just couldn’t accept that other kids could spend their winters indoors while I had to trudge through cold, deep snow in the dark every day. Even so, on every Christmas, on every snow day, I found myself out in the barn, staring at the clock, anxiously waiting for the work to just be done.

Looking back now, I don’t really know why I wanted to be like those other children – the ones who don’t have animals to care for and farm work to do – so badly. I imagine many of those kids have probably experienced a feeling of crushing boredom as they’re trapped in the house with nothing to do – something I never knew personally until I went to college. Growing up on a farm taught me that life may not always be fair, but that it is possible for all of us to find pleasure in the little things that we are blessed with each and every day. So tonight during chores, even as my toes go numb, I know I won’t be bored.

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