I’ve always preferred the heat to the cold. Now that I have large animals, I can say with absolute certainty that I prefer the heat. All for one simple reason – cold equals frozen water troughs and buckets.
Luckily in the Texas hill country we don’t deal with long winters or even winter temperatures that last for weeks on end. And maybe in some ways that makes it worse, as we simply never get used to it. Now for my northern friends, you are probably laughing your heads off, and rightly so, at my cold weather wimpiness. All I have to say is let’s talk the next time you have to deal with 100 degrees. But I digress …
My biggest farmgirl challenge yet came when we had a winter spell the kept us below freezing for three days straight and included snow and ice. Luckily I am far enough past this incident now that I can actually chuckle about it, but holy moly it tested my farmgirl fortitude.
During this spell I would bundle up like the Michelin man for each trip outdoors. I’m talking layers of shirts, sweatshirts, long johns, gloves, hats, and scarves. If I could manage to use it for warmth, I piled it on. Oh and of course I was donning my pink rubber boots. One other thing you should know about me, grace is not my middle name. So if there is a way to trip or find a clumsy moment, I will find it. So outside I go, to do my chores.
Let’s just say when the horses and donkeys see you coming, they come running. They think it’s feed time, treat time, or just pet me time. And as any farmgirl does, I absolutely love doting on my babies. But when I’m freezing and sliding around, big animals with even the best intentions can be a tricky situation. But, I did my best to give them some loving. (I also didn’t help my cause by sliding around with a camera trying to capture these snowy moments in hopes of getting that perfect Christmas card shot.)
To top chore time off, during this time, our outside water faucets had frozen. So no big deal, you say? Wrong. While I’d added heaters to my horse water troughs I had no way to keep refilling them. Okay scratch that, I had no easy way to refill them.
If you can, picture a clumsy, bundled up farmgirl carrying buckets of water from inside to outside and dumping them into horse buckets. Over and over and over again. And in case you’ve never carried a bucket of water while skating across the ice, it’s a messy proposition and not all of it makes it to the bucket. Horses sure can suck down some water.
Oh, and scooping in the ice and snow? Equally not as fun. I did not become an ice skater for a reason.
But the good news is that I made it. And boy did I feel like I had a cowgirl up kind of moment. I was so proud that I could take care of my critters and find a way to keep them full and hydrated. But I’ll be honest, I was none to sad when the ice and snow melted, and most of all when the faucets thawed. I’ll take Texas summers anytime. (I’ll re-read this post in August to remind myself when it’s 106 degrees in the shade.)