(Click on the picture for a wintery view of the Missouri River bottom)
Cliff and I usually take a daily walk in our pasture. It's the only place I feel free to turn my dog, Sadie, loose. When she sees another dog, she's gone. And goes totally deaf to my calling her. So I keep her leashed on our trips in the yard, because we live right on a gravel road, and within spitting distance of a highway (albeit a minor one).
She does sometimes sight a fox, some birds, and yes, an occasional dog, out in the pasture. But the likelihood of her running across a highway and meeting her death while chasing after them (like my last dog, Mandy) is much less at the back of the place; and it's her only taste of freedom, so I take that small risk. So far, she has always returned to my side after her brief forays into the unknown.
This winter has really cramped our style, not to mention Sadie's. In the past, we've headed out in any temperature. We'd put on layers, cover our faces, and go. But as we age, we find it more difficult. So when it's ten degrees with a wind chill factor of minus 20 or so, we skip the walk.
Then there's the ice and snow factor. We wear sneakers for our walk, and they aren't the best thing in snow. Some of the slopes we walk on still have ice, in spots, from a month ago... ice which is now covered with newer snow, so we can't see it to avoid it. It's camouflaged.
I'm hoping today (if there's school, so the granddaughters aren't here) that we can perhaps get out and walk along the roadside, with Sadie on her leash and halti. I feel so much better when we can take a half-hour walk. But if we can't, at least the end of this frigid weather is in sight. In a week, they're forecasting temperatures in the fifties, possibly even the sixties.
With temps in the forties, I can comfortably ride my horse. In the mid-fifties, Cliff and I can ride the motorcycle. And of course, we can once again take our accustomed walks with Sadie.
I've seen rougher winters. I've seen more snow and ice than we've had this year. But it's been years since I've been house-bound this long.
I'm beginning to understand why my sister goes to south Texas for the winter.