Many of you have asked where in the world I've been.

All I know is that after 7 plus years of blogging and a different lappy, which I don’t like, I seem to have lost my blogging fervor.

Someday, when you least expect it, I will post again.

For those of you still waiting I say thank you.

Meanwhile, I am rather prolific on twitter. Find me: @KeethaB
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The Eclectic Company - Waitin' on a New Adventure!!
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Monday, January 24, 2011

"Near Dotage" Activity

Maybe this will come off like preaching.

Maybe it will be meddling.

I don't know - - - - but I'm gonna smile so hopefully it will be NICE preaching and HAPPY meddling.

I've seen LOTS on LOTS of blogs lately about people wishing away winter - - - - longing for sun - - - pining for the beach. I just gotta tell ya, this bothers me on SOOOOO MANY LEVELS! For one thing, there is so much JOY to be found in winter, and if you spend winter wishing for spring you've missed ALL that winter JOY!!!

Let's do a little mathematical calculating. Let's say that those who begin to "pine" for the sun mostly do so during January and February. I'd say that's a pretty fair guess - - - most people are all excited about a little snow BEFORE Christmas and don't allow themselves to go sour until AFTER the Christmas festivities are over. At the OTHER end - - - March is when the hope of spring is alive in the air.

OK then - - - that's settled. Most of the winter whiners do so for two months each year.

Now, I don't know about you but I HOPE to live to be at least 80. So, if I were a winter whiner I'd be whining for 2 months X 80 years. That comes out to 160 months of my life WASTED in whining and wishing the hours away!!!! Do you know that if you DIVIDE that by 12 months a year it comes out to wasting 13.33333 YEARS of your life!?! 13.33333 YEARS of grumpiness.

NOPE - - - NOT for me.

I realize I'm a strange duck who has always LOVED winter - - - but what's NOT TO LOVE??? Let me expound just a little on the virtues of winter: snow converts the world to a veritable wonderland; coffee, tea, and hot cocoa are much more enjoyable with frost on the window pane; a fire on the hearth and a warm yellow glow in the window are much more appreciated when winter gales are fierce; and who could possibly enjoy a thick, soft, quilt during HOT summer months???? (All you QUILTERS out there should be HAPPY about winter when your lovely quilts can be enjoyed by all!!!)

So far, I haven't even MENTIONED the wonderful winter OUTDOOR activities that could NEVER happen in a land of all summer sun!!!

I grew up in the northwoods. My sister and I spent as much time, usually part of every winter day (at least the one that didn't have to practice piano FIRST - - - but that's another story) outside ice skating.

No wimps we!

Once school was canceled because it was 52 below zero with 83 below zero wind chill (yes, this is REAL and not one of those up hill barefoot both ways in the snow speeches) and in the afternoon when it warmed up to a balmy 30 below, we bundled up and went outdoors to slide down the snow piles!!!

What a memory! Slipping down sand dunes on an 80 degree day just isn't the same!

Since Fisherhubby and I have MOVED to Wisconsin, where winter is EMBRACED, where folks do NOT just hibernate indoors wishing for spring - - - we decided we wanted to find an outdoor winter activity that we could enjoy together!

So in our "near dotage" we have equipped ourselves with all the paraphernalia necessary to go cross country skiing.

On our FIRST outing, Fisherhubby who grew up in the sunny winterless state of Florida learned a very valuable lesson - - - you can OVER DRESS for outdoor activity, in which case you will get TOO HOT!

'Tis true.

The first time out, we had to get used to the balance that is different on these skinny toothpick skis than it is for downhill skiing or ice skating.

The first time out I lost my skinny toothpick ski balance and tumbled down into the snow - - - THREE TIMES! I'll tell ya, it's a bit of a work out to get back up!

Yesterday I didn't fall - - - even once. Fisherhubby fell once, but this is NOT to be misunderstood that I have more skilz than does he. No - - - verily, verily I say unto you - - - it is because HE takes risks, pushes the envelope, and TRIES to go faster while I just plod along at the pace I can handle.

So gorgeous out there in the snowy piney wood! Sometimes I paused just to look around. To my right I could see through the trees to Lake Nepco and the ice fishing shanty village it holds during this time of year. Look closely and you too will see the shanties peeping between the trees.

Then after wiping my dripping nose - - - I skied on into the forest. We are LOVING this!!!

After skiing, instead of turning for home I pointed the Red Bucky Mobile east toward another favorite haunt of ours - - - Lake Wazeecha!

This is the Bucky Mobile sitting right out ON Lake Wazeecha!!! I know those of you who live in warmer climes will shudder at the thought of DRIVING out onto a lake - - - but TRUST ME - - - the ice is over a foot thick and perfectly safe for driving - - -

And for supporting ice fishing shanties. Even yesterday, a week day, there was fishing activity going on!

Many folks up here build their own shanties complete with bunks, cook stoves, and heaters.

I kid you not!!

Fisherhubby is longing to get out and do some ice fishing - - - but so far has not managed that between work and our new "near dotage" activity of xc-skiing.

So I say, Cheer Up!!! Find YOUR winter activity that will bring back your joy. Either FIND your JOY or you'll have 13.33333 years of your life filled with grumpage, whining and pining.

As Red Green says, "I'm pulling for ya. Remember, we're all in this together!"



ann said...

I agree with what you're saying, but it is a little different with an artificial hip and a small child. Josiah likes the cold and the snow but absolutely refuses to step foot on it. If I put him down, he just stands there...stiff as a board. There's really no fun in that. Also, I constantly worry about falling on this fake hip of mine since my legs are two different lengths and I'm carrying a small child. But, the cold doesn't bother me much. Have fun out there and stay warm.

Erin said...

While you make some very good points, I just can't seem to like winter. There's the mud, and the dog who needs walked, and the colds, and did I mention the MUD as it is my current nemesis. We can still be friends though, the winter-lovers and the winter-whiners. :)

From the Kitchen said...

If I had to make a choice, I'd choose winter over summer. I do not like heat! Now, if I could have summer's bounty in winter, the choice would be even easier. Each season brings it's own joys and concerns. I agree with your assessment of wishing away one's life!
Bring on the snow!!


Kyle Broyles said...

I enjoyed this post, and I'm proud of my parents for their new Wisconsin adventures! I'm jealous that you guys go cross-country skiing. You should send me a pair so I can ski to class!

Love you guys!

nancygrayce said...

I can tell you this Florida girl is super dooper impressed with the cross country skiing!

And I can tell you that I love winter! It is the only time of year that I'm not constantly wishing I didn't have to wear clothes because I'm so hot! (I will however, out of kindness to all, keep my clothes on!

Keri said...

What a great post! I need to apply this attitude to myself in the summer when I'm pining away wishing for fall and winter! :)

I'm with Kyle...I'm proud of you, Mom, for getting out there in it! I have always wanted to try cross country looks like so much fun! Love you!!

Anonymous said...

Your math skills are awesome!

I agree...Winter is wonderful. Get outside and enjoy it! Even if it's just a walk.

Heck, if it were summer ALL the time, we'd have a zillion bugs and be sunburnt and in a bad mood cuz it was TOOOOOO hot.

Nice post...great photos of the area....nice skis! You rock!

Jan (in Colorado...I 'get' your post)

j said...

I love YOUR love of winter. I think it's beautiful and I so enjoy all of the snow pictures. I'll be honest with you though - this southern girl LOVES our mild winters.

Now summer? Sometimes I am guilty of pining for fall :)

Brenda said...

Raise your hand if you are guilty (hand going up).
Thanks for this admonition. It is a confirmation of my thoughts these past few weeks which include one of my favorite scriptures: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad [in this day].
So, no more complaining for me, I choose to rejoice in this day so graciously given to me.
Thanks again!

Unknown said...

Great point of view, Keetha! I enjoy being able to finally get to those projects that get put off in the summer when we're so busy outside. Enjoy the skiing! My husband has gear but I don't.

Anke said...

Growing up in Germany, we had lots of snow during the winter. People are used to it, they know how to drive in it and the city uses plows, salt or sand as necessary. Here on the other hand, having a little snow shuts everything down. Roads get closed, there's no school, the stores run out of everything... If people here were more used to it and the city would help more with the roads, the snow itself wouldn't bother me one bit.

ain't for city gals said...

I agree Keetha..people wish their lives away sometimes. Now if I HAD to get out and drive in it that might be a different story. For us it is the opposite with our summers..people turn their air conditioning on and hibernate...there is so much you can do ..go to the mountains ...go to a lake...get up is too short

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Yay Keetha! Thanks for saying this. It seems like once Christmas is over so many start whining for spring. Huh? Enjoy the winter, embrace it! The cold days and nights even here in the south it's cold. Enjoy the gray and bareness...for only then can you really rejoice when spring comes. Oh and I am so impressed with this skiing! You go girl!

lilmomma said...

And let's also remember without the dead of winter we would not have those other lovely seasons. :)

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

Wellll...I have mixed feelings. I live in the snow belt and we have had over 110" snow so far this 7 am the highway is loaded with fools who think their cars can't slide on icy roads, kids are walking to school in the roads, rather than the unplowed sidewalks, and it is always gray here. A sunny winter day is rare. But I take care of my grumpy mood with a February trip to a warm sunny place (this year a western caribbean cruise) If I didn't work, I would have a different outlook on the crappy winter weather we have...but I waste little time complaining, just mostly dreaming ;-).

Enjoy the skiing...lovely pics

Martin LaBar said...

Enjoy that cold! It's God's gift to Wisconsin (and other places).

Julie Harward said...

Hi, thanks for your visit. Looks like you have a great attitude, I like that about you. I love to get out too for a good walk or skiing..just not ice fishing..those guys are crazy! ;D

Deven said...

Wonderful post -- you can tell because I actually clicked off my feed reader to comment. :) I'm with you, a winter lover. However, I'm a whiner in summer. Thanks for the attitude check.

podso said...

Thoughtful post! I appreciate all the seasons for as long as we have them --I love the variety. And the only time we cross country skied was in Wisc ... hubby at 6'6" was quite awkward with the skis and was a real sight when he fell. :-)

None of that fun down here in the south, but we are having more consistent of a winter than in recent history (and yes, folks are complaining.)

Theresa said...

Well, I have to say that I wasn't happy to be stuck inside that week BUT I am certainly NOT wishing this year away like I did last year! It went WAY too fast! I would love to try the cross country skiing, I bet that is some good exercise on those legs!

Have a blessed, joyful winter evening my friend! HUGS!

Unknown said...

Thanks for that post! I am a complainer myself at times, but try to refrain from being a facebook or blogpost whiner! And I'm afraid I'm too bad at math to have figured out how much time it's possible to whine! Love that you'all are embracing the great snowy outdoors!

Anonymous said...

You are so correct. One thing i hate is that people will complain its to dry, we need snow or rain and then when we get it people complain. Its a never ending cycle of complaining. I live in Colorado and i think we have the greatest weather than most states but i must complain, not enough snow yet. Send me snow!

janet said...

keetha, so nice to see you are still blogging and thanks for stopping by and I would agree you have many pieces that have found new it!

I must admit, sometimes i do whine about winter, but not often, after all I am Canadian. If it weren't for my physical disabilities, I would love winter more than I do. However, I keep myself busy inside and enjoy the snowfalling giving us this beautiful white blanket.

Julie said...


Thank you for pointing out this post to me! I'm sooo far behind on reading blogs...but know I think about you lots! :) A couple things:

1. I love this post because I've been thinking this joy topic a lot lately..not just about winter, but about life in general, esp regarding all the issues with Bella.
2. I love the pics of you two skiing. You guys are so cute!
3. I like winter better than I used too...and that's saying something. BUT...I am guilty of saying to the hubby just yesterday that if it wasn't for him I'd be living in FL and I would never look back. haha
Sorry about the long comment. :) Love your's good therapy! :)

Julie said...

Oh...forgot to mention-my sister is currently in Siberia until June, and it is normal to have -40deg temp. OH.MY.WORD. Needless to say, I can't whine about winter to her!

Sonya McCllough Lockridge said...

can I say BRAVE! love the touch of red!

KathyB. said...

I love the rain too! I long for rainy days if there is too much sunshine, but really, if people don't like the rain and snow they can move to California or Florida, don't you think? Gives us much more room to enjoy our weather.

When you actually put into perspective just how much of our lives are lost in complaining about the weather, think what that would add up to if the complaints about work, family, etc. are factored in.Hmmm.

Anke said...

Keetha, I didn't mean to whine about the snow here. That's not how I meant the comment I left. We all enjoy the snow when we have it and we do make the best of our snow days. BUT, the snow days have to be made up, it is very difficult to get places when roads are closed everywhere... Overall, it's all good - gotta find the positive in everything...

Angie said...

OK, now being 60 I am allowed to be grumpy.

I don't like being stuck in the house but have to be because my power chair doesn't mix well with snow. I get cabin fever being shut in here.

HOWEVER, if things were different...........things would b different! I wish you joy of your new pastime. Just keep he photos coming.

BTW is ice fishing digging a hole through the ice and dangling a lne in?

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

HI Keetha,
How true!
If you live in Wisconsin, and other cold northern climates it's good to find a winter sport you enjoy! I spent many years at the skating rink with my daughter and I miss that!
You look cute on the ski's~
We used to cross country ski and I think we should try it again soon.
Hubby loved it!
I am thinking I would like to try snowshoeing, have you?
Thanks for reminding everyone of the beauty of winter. Everyday I get a comment from southerners about how do we stand it!
My Mom, who hates hot weather wonders how they stand it in the summertime.

Ann in the UP said...

I hope I didn't arouse your lecture on wishing your life away by my comments about returning to Wisconsin. I think January has flown by, and I'm agreeing with you about hot cocoa being more fun in January than in June.

I get restless in March--when the weather is so unpredictable. But we have to look at it as we look at the stock market. What will it do? Fluctuate. It is what it is. Adjust, Enjoy.

Carol said...

Sorry, Keetha...I still want an early SPRING!

Anonymous said...

When I was teaching, I loved winter for the snow days! Now I love watching freshly falling snow inside, drinking my hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. I also like how it's dark cozy... can be in your pjs and have a long's a nice break from having to work outside pulling weeds in the summer.

Nancy said...

Wherever a person lives, I agree, they should not complain and instead, embrace the weather. I do not complain about the heat in AZ -- the opposite of Wisconsin winter. Some who lose their joy in winter may have physical reasons, and are unable to move to a different climate. I am quite sensitive to cold and have a hard time warming up. (whether caused by outside temps or air conditioning) "Chilled to the bone" is a literal sensation for me which includes shivers, purple lips & fingernails, uncontrollable chattering teeth, sore back, stiff muscles, and feeling cold deep inside ... not a pretty picture, eh? So it is probably a good thing that you are the one living in WI. (smile)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I never disliked Winter in Chicago. It was what it was and I agree with you. Why wish away your life. I keep telling people that before you know it they will be saying it's too hot!!! Looks like you two are having a wonderful time in the snow. So happy for you.

Vickie said...

Keetha, I am so proud of you for cross country skiing. It looks really fun! I'm looking forward to seeing you!

Lynn said...

Preach it, Sistah! I can say that because we have had the big H over our house for two weeks and it has been like spring!
Not wishing THAT away, I tell ya!!