The Long Winter


My oldest grandson just turned 7 and he’s starting the magical journey through the “Little House” series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Seeing those books on my shelf bring back memories of long afternoons, reading aloud while the kids colored or played with Legos. Now I read aloud to PB, until I hear soft snores from his side of the bed. Reading aloud is still one of my favorite things to do, especially on days like today.

The 2019 version of “The Long Winter” doesn’t quite measure up to Laura Ingalls’ prairie blizzards that started in October and continued until April. Day after day of forty below temps and snow that piled up to the rooftops created real hardship in the late 1800’s.

If we run out of milk, I can go a few blocks to Kwik-Trip and pick up a gallon.
I don’t worry about getting lost in a whiteout blizzard on my way to the barn.

If the north wind howls, I can flip a switch and turn on the fireplace.
I don’t sit for hours and twist hay into sticks to feed the cookstove.

If the snow piles up, I can start up the snowblower.
(Well, PB can start up the snowblower.)
I don’t have to shovel a path to the outhouse.

If all the businesses in town close, I can survive on what’s in my pantry.
I don’t worry about the supply train and my dwindling tin of flour.

Really, people.
We have it so good.
Snow is an inconvenience, not a threat to our existence.
Look out the window and say a prayer of thanks
that you’re not twisting hay into sticks for cookstove fuel.
Go read chapter 19 of “The Long Winter” this afternoon,
and rejoice.

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One thought on “The Long Winter

  1. Oh my goodness! It’s fun to see you thinking along the same lines as I was a bit ago. When our bitter cold from the polar vortex hit, I reminded myself over and over how good I had it compared to Laura’s family! 😊

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