It is many years ago; my two brothers and I are in the upstairs bedroom of our old farm house. It has been a long, cold winter, with many below zero days and snow so deep the old timers said they couldn’t remember ever seeing such a tough winter. But something is different this morning—the most obvious, the bedroom isn’t so cold. The thick frost that has covered the inside of the windows since last November is melting, puddling on the window sills. Rain is splashing against the windows, one of the first sounds of spring. I look out the window, toward our snow-covered fields to east and I see wisps of fog.
I pull on my clothes, rush downstairs, grab my barn lantern and trot to the barn. For the first time in weeks, the snow is mushy underfoot. And the subtle smell of spring is in the air. Once in the barn for the morning milking, I notice the animals are aware of the weather change as well. They are restless and wanting to go outside, understandable after being cooped up in the barn for these long winter months.
After breakfast, we let the cows outside, to romp in the barnyard, to run with their tails in the air, to experience spring. To feel the rain on their backs and the soft snow underfoot. But winter doesn’t give up easily. That evening, the rain changes to snow as winter refuses to leave quietly. But we now know that spring is waiting in the wings, waiting for a chance to sneak in and take over, and push winter farther north for a few months.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: We need winter to truly enjoy spring.
CHECK THIS OUT: Tune in the Larry Meiller Show on Wisconsin Public Radio, Wednesday, March 9. 11:45-12:20. I’ll be discussing my new book, CAMPFIRES AND LOON CALLS.
March 11, 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, 3:30 p.m. Canoecopia Trade Show, Alliant Center, Madison:. (Campfires and Loon Calls).
March 15, 10:30 a.m. Eager Free Library, Evansville, WI.
March 15, 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble, Madison West. (Launch for Campfires and Loon Calls).
March 17, 2:00-4:00. Monroe Arts Center, Monroe. Memories into Memoirs—Writers’ Workshop.
March 17, 7:00 p.m. Monroe Arts Center. (Our Rural Heritage).
March 20, 7:00 p.m. Lebanon Historical Society, Fire Station, New Lebanon. (Horse Drawn Days).
March 26, 9:30 a.m., Richland County Electric Co-op, Richland Center High School.
March 29, 7:00 p.m. Manawa Public Library. (In a Pickle).