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Just Outside My Door 01/31/13

February 6, 2013
By ELAINE G. COLE - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

It's for sure that Old Man Winter is with us now. We had quite a bad storm on Monday, Jan. 22 and Tuesday, Jan. 23 with wind and blowing snow making driving very hazardous.

As of Friday, Jan. 25, we had received 88 inches of that white stuff in Sherman. It got extremely cold there after with the thermometer getting down to 0 degrees and staying in the single digits for several days.

Although one didn't want to stay outside very long, it was beautiful out there. Every tree and shrub was wearing pure white gowns. Whenever the sun shown, they sparkled beneath its rays. I used to love going down to the creek on such days, but for some reason I don't attempt such a feat when the snow is deep. Do you suppose it has something to do with my age?

Article Photos

Photo by Elaine G. Cole
Birds vie for the feeders of sunflower seeds and suit as well as seeds on the ground just outside Elaine G. Cole’s kitchen window.

Nowadays, unless it warms up a bit, I'd rather stay inside by the fireside in winter. Nevertheless, I still enjoy seeing the snow as I look out our windows. I haven't seen any snowmen yet, and I'm sure the snow today would have been too cold to create one. I haven't made one in several years, and I doubt I will this year unless it warms up and a grandchild comes around begging me to venture outside.

Another thing I enjoy in winter is watching the birds and squirrels that visit our backyard daily. This morning there were more gold finches and juncos than I could count flitting back and forth from the woodland to the porch. The morning doves and juncos dined on the porch floor along with the squirrels while many of the others vie for the feeders of sunflower seeds and suit. Thus far I've only seen one turkey out there, but now with the snow there will probably be more of them coming for the corn and seeds on the ground. We can easily view all of the aforesaid sitting in our living, dining room and kitchen for they are just outside the back door and also the feeder on the kitchen window our neighbors gave us.

I have also been enjoying the catalogues that always come in the mail in January. I check out the various vegetable and flower plants and also the seeds available for gardening. I have visions of all the gardens I'll have come spring. Of course I realize that I'm no longer a "spring chicken," but I can still plant seeds early indoors then later in one of my gardens. I know too I can always get my young neighbor lad to do the difficult outdoor tasks. As they say, "where there's a will there's a way."

Another activity I do more in winter than in other seasons is to read and recently I've read a variety of books. I also get several magazines each month including those about birds, gardening and of course the Grit and Saturday Evening Post. I'm sure you are wondering if I ever do housework or cook. I have to admit I don't do all those things as often as I use to, but I have some great Amish youth who seem to like coming to do tasks, and also our kids and/or grandkids are always very helpful. So as Bill often says, "We've got it made in the shade," whatever that means. One thing for sure we have been richly blest by so many people over the years. God is good, all the time.

Speaking of the seed catalogs, one of my favorite authors, Edgar Guest, must have enjoyed it when they arrived in his mailbox in January, as he has a poem titled "Seed Catalogs." I can almost see him sitting by the fireside reading every word of it and planning his gardens.



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