If It’s Important to Him…

We have snow. Lots of snow. And around here snow means one thing – cross-country skiing.

If you would have told me when I was in high school that I would ever strap wooden sticks to my legs and propel myself across frozen ground – I would have laughed in your face.

I’m not athletic. I hated gym class. I’m not even sure I like winter. I know for sure that I don’t like to be cold.

But my mom gave each of her daughters some wonderful advice when we got engaged. “Learn to love what your husband loves so you can share it together”.

SkiSo I did.

I married a Eagle Scout with Scandinavian blood running through his veins.  His boy scout troop used to strap packs on their backs and ski into the Sierra Nevada mountains, set up winter camp and ski back down the next day.

He loves skiing like a fish loves to swim.

So I learned. Ski 2It wasn’t easy.

It still isn’t. But my husband loves the fact that I worked hard to learn something I knew nothing about – just so I could spend more time with him.

Now – whenever the weather cooperates – we have a standing date when he gets home from work. We strap on our skis and head out on the trails around the property.

I wasn’t the only sister to heed mom’s advice.

My oldest sister married a high school coach and had 4 strapping sons before she saw any pink . She learned baseball inside and out.

My next sister married a guy who loves snowmobiling. I mean really loves snowmobiling. She bought a snowmobile suit and learned to cheer when the drifts started to pile up.

My youngest sister learned farming – tractors, seeds, fertilizer, planters, combines & commodity prices.  She works her schedule around planting and harvest because she knows it’s something her husband loves.

And my mom – she didn’t just give us advise – she lived it. She can bait a hook, cast a line, and land the big one with the best of them. She’s had over 50 years of fishing trips with my dad.

If it’s important to him – make it important to you.

Cross Country Skiing

800px-cross_country_skiing_trail_brdy1I went cross country skiing today.

Yes, me, the one always picked last in PE.  I went cross country skiing, by choice.

My Scandinavian husband has been skiing since he could walk.  As a boy scout in Nevada he would ski with his troop into the mountains, camp over night or several days and ski back out.

My very first Christmas at his parent’s home he took me out and taught me the basics while he family watched from the windows of the house.

I married him anyway.

Then the babies came, and we lived in the city. Winter sports consisted of  spending 20 minutes dressing the little ones in snowsuits and mittens then pulling them around in a sled for 5 before someone had to go potty or got snow in their mitten.

After our move to the country, my husband pulled out the skis again. He could now strap them on at the back porch and ski for miles.

He found beginner skis for the children and started teaching them the basics. Pretty soon the entire family was out on skis, and it was time for me to join them.

After a few false starts, I soon got a feel for it and found myself enjoying the rhythm of the sport.

I will never be as proficient as my husband who can do the most amazing turns and even stays upright going down hills. But I can almost keep up with the young ‘uns and as long as I avoid the hills I can stay on my feet.

Now I can enjoy the calm beauty of a winter day while I glide over the crisp white snow. The cold air bites my cheeks as my normally uncoordinated body finds the rhythm and movement of the cross country skis.

Winter in the Old Farm House

I should have known. I thought I was prepared. But I had no idea when we moved here nine years ago how frustrating life could be living with five children in a drafty old farm house in the coldest months on the year.

Thermal socks and heavy hooded sweatshirts have been the normal attire for sometime now. (Actually I only see the boys heads on Sunday morning when they take their stocking caps off for church!)

The wood stove is like another child, always needing to be fed and changed. The need for wood is a never ending job with all the cutting, hauling, and splitting.

Yet, after nine years, despite the frustrations, I have learned to love and anticipate winter days here on the farm. It’s comforting to have the snow falling outside and know that you are all safe and warm inside. There’s a sort of rhythm and peacefulness about our days with very few interruptions.

Winter is when we get many books read, games played and we always have a 1000 piece jig saw puzzle set out to be put together.

On sunny days, we can strap on the cross county skis, walk out the back door and start to ski. The kids have hills all over for sledding and snowboarding.

I guess winter in the country can be summed up in one word, time. We have time to be together and do the things that are important. We have time to think, to grow, to explore, to experiment, to play.

Since time is a such a valuable commodity, I guess winter in an old farm house makes us rich indeed!