The Wise Novelist

Rushing My Winter

Once you get to a certain age, you tend not to want to rush through time. You don’t want the last hundred yards of rope to slip through your hands.

But I make an exception for the winter months, which indeed represents my discontent.

Snow always looks beautiful through a window.

But since I don’t ski or snowboard, like the younger McCaffreys, I have no use for snow once I’ve captured a few flakes on my tongue. And I’m with Linus, December snow is ripe enough. Any flakes after Christmas are useless to me.

Of course, the biggest headache is in dressing for the weather. Not me, Claire and Honey.

I tend to dress them in their coats as soon as temperatures dip and stay below freezing. Usually around Thankgiving. They won’t admit it, but I know their coats keep them warm when it hits the lowest temperatures at night. I wish they were the kind of docile creatures that I could lock in the barn overnight, with the heaters, but they have a certain feral nature that demands they have the freedom to come and go as they please. And that’s what I like about them. I want them to experience freedom.

That is why I give them the run of the property, except at night, and only because I can’t have Claire pounding on the basement door looking for a midnight snack.

They’ve both done their years of enforced servitude. Never again.

But then I have to deal with the issue of when do I remove the coats, and for how long?

Monday, Honey got her coat belly strap wrapped around her back leg again. I think what happens is that she likes to roll on her back and this loosens the belt, and when she stands, she shifts her back legs under her and the leg slips into the belly strap.

We have been going through a warm streak these past few days, and its supposed to get warm again tomorrow. So I decided to remove their coats.

Anyway, this required that I play Ringolevio to catch Honey Monday night, which is always fun, and once she capitulated, I removed her coat and freed the leg. Of course, this meant that I do the same for Claire, who is the hardier of the two, and probably never wore a coat until she arrived here.

So I did. And no sooner did I do so, when Alexa (my second [AI] wife – who is far more understanding of my failings) informed me that there would be a winter advisory for Wednesday.

But I only have so many games of Ringolevio left in these legs, even with the treadmill training.

And, as I said, it’s is supposed to warm up again tomorrow. So I left the mules without coats.

When I went out there this morning, they were both by Gipetto’s Studio with a light coating of snow on their backs. So I shook their breakfast bag – always gets their attention – and grabbed their two bowls and led them into the barn to eat under the heaters.

That’s all I can do. Besides worry about them.

Well anyway, I must get back out into the snow for my morning rounds, but first a kitty cuddle and after, the treadmill.

Then lawyering. Sigh. Hollywood, take pity on this old lawyer.

And while I did not get a box of chocolates yesterday, what I did get was just as sweet and gone just as quickly.

And while this may go directly to my head, at least, unlike chocolate, it won’t go directly to my belly.

Anyway, you fine, five readers get out there and get over the hump. Friday is in striking distance.

But most of all, make today a great one.

4 Responses

  1. I was eight and nine years old in the mid-1950s when my older brother had a horse which was kept at a neighboring farm just a block from our home. I loved to check on the horse on my way home from school and at other times I loved the barn but it was always colder in the barn than the outside temperature.
    I appreciate your description of the chore of blanketing your equine. I have seen them used on occasion here in north central Kansas, but not a lot and have remained a curiosity for me. I have wondered how well they stay on, and how much trouble they are getting on and off, etc. Thanks to you, I have a better idea.
    I am 76 years old. My daughter bought me two, TWO, sweater jackets for Christmas. My wife bought me a third. Did they both see your pictures of your mules wearing their man-made coats and thought I needed some too? Is there some comparison I should be making here?

  2. How are you Stu? Love your post. The barn is definitely cooler in the summer than outside temperatures, because I have a large wall mounted oscillating fan going all the time. The heaters are mouted to the roof over the stall area, about half the inside of the barn, so they keep it pretty warm. Those horse blankets (coats) are a pain in the ass to get on, but they are worth it. You can feel the heat they retain by reaching under them. I think you may start a new fashion trend by donning one yourself. Paris will be clamoring for it next season. Thanks for stopping by.

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