Well, here it is, Dec. 20, and it’s already been a long, hard winter. Fall lingered longer than usual, but now for two weeks we’ve had bitter temperatures, high winds, snow, ice, drifting snow, etc. The other day when I was out for a jog I took a spill coming down the hill to my house. My feet shot up into the air in front of me and I landed so hard on my back I’m surprised my teeth stayed put.
All this ugly weather makes caring for livestock a real challenge. On Thursday I needed to haul some hay up from Westcliffe for the cows. While atop the 20-foot stack trying to pull the tarp back over it, I heaved back with my upper body and the plastic slipped out of my wet gloves. I pitched backward toward the edge and possible death but somehow caught my balance before taking flight. I was shocked by how little this brush with mortality frightened me, but I guess at some point you realize none of us are getting out of here alive and a backflip from a haystack might be better than the eventual long ride on a hospital bed with its IVs, EKGs, bedpans, etc. But I am becoming morose . . . I already talked to the guy I’m buying the hay from and Monday I’m pulling that tarp all the way off the stack.
We’re not exactly safe from the elements indoors, either. Friday night while editing copy for The Pueblo Chieftain my Internet connection flickered on and off and then went dead — right during crunch time on my busiest shift of the week. Luckily as a backup there is a direct dial-in connection to the newsroom. It’s slow and does not amuse the business office, but it does allow me to do my work.
Our Internet setup is a point-to-point radio system. There is a transmitter on the barn, which relays the signal up to a tower on a nearby mountaintop. From there it is relayed to another point and into a ground line. It’s great until, as in this case, the deer decide to chew up the wiring on the radio tower.
And so here we are at the Winter Solstice, that most joyous day of the year. After tomorrow the days begin getting longer, and for that I am thankful.