The major holiday of the winter season is coming right up. The pressure is on. What are we going to give to our significant other for Christmas? The other question is: how do we pay for it?
Despite that pressure, this is the time to enjoy the season of the year when Mother Nature is still sleeping and not pressing us to work for her. We can sit and look out the window at our snow covered garden spots. Without any physical labor we can mentally plan where the corn, tomatoes and beans will be planted in the spring.
Some avid gardeners, I suppose, rely less on fantasy and more on science. They use graph paper and plan everything out to scale and calculate how much Nutrimulch will be applied per square foot.
There's probably some tree pruning that needs to be done before long, but for the most part we don't even have to venture out into the yard. Nature rests, we rest.
So what else is there to do in Sanpete during a cold winter? I know some people start to get a little stir crazy as winter sets in. They have "cabin fever." Or they have "SAD" (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Or they're just plain, downright, no "ifs ands or buts" about it, dang sick of the cold.
I sympathize with these people. I remember talking to a guy a few winters ago. He was telling me he had been out trying to break the ice on the water trough when the resident bull decided to take a bead on him. It sounded like "comedy capers" with a rampaging bull, icy footing and a fence to get through.
I commented to the "old cowboy" that it's probably been a long time since he played the part of a rodeo clown. He agreed and then spat out something about the "damned cold weather."
The weather has been outrageously cold here lately. We were up in the night at our house last Friday with a frozen pipe. I had lent all of our space heaters to some freezing college co-eds who had lost heat in their apartment. (That's another story) We bought a couple of new space heaters late at night at Wal-Mart for the purpose of thawing a frozen hot water pipe in our basement ceiling near a north wall.
After checking the faucet for running water a hundred times, I finally said a prayer that the pipe would thaw and that I could get the problem solved and go to bed. That was after three o'clock in the morning while I was still up watching television being diligently on the "pipe thawing vigil." After saying "Amen," I checked the faucet and the thawing miracle had happened!
Five minutes later, my "answered prayer satisfaction" was dashed at the same time the pipe up in the ceiling burst. It was starting to blow a hole through the drywall!
Suffice it to say, I didn't go to bed until after 4:30 a.m. But, the story I'm sticking with is that my prayer was answered. The pipe thawed, right? And, the biggest miracle of all - I was able to get a plumber on the job by 10 a.m., on Saturday morning.
He fixed the pipe and discovered that there was no insulation around our gas water heater exhaust vent where it goes out through the wall. So, in reality, the burst pipe served to discover and solve our ongoing pipe freezing problem. I hate minus 22 degree weather!
Kids don't seem to mind the frigid weather as much as I do. They seem to be able to play and stay outside without many complaints. My kids, grown and gone now, used to always look for opportunities to go up Fairview Canyon for snowboarding. It didn't matter if there was a blinding blizzard or if it's "frostbite city."
As for me, while appreciating the great out of doors, I limit my time out there during these sub-freezing temperature days. I'm more often found indoors this time of year.
Getting out of the house and reducing "cabin fever" is accomplished by doing several things here in Sanpete. Going out to local school sports games and other community events is a great way to beat the winter doldrums. It's fun to mix with friends and neighbors in large gymnasiums and auditoriums where it's warm.
Going to the movies is also a great way to get out of the house in the wintertime. We're lucky to have several screens in the county. There are some shows that really should be seen on the big screen with big sound. There's a certain magic seeing movies that way.
It's just not the same seeing those shows on a television at home. At home, you can almost count on something to happen right at the climactic moment of the movie. The phone will ring or someone selling something will show up ringing your doorbell or something else will interrupt.
Of course, I should mention the obvious thing to do when there's snow on the ground. Go play in it! Many Sanpeters own snowmobiles and are on their "sleds" every chance they get. The rest of us can sleigh ride down the nearby hills, build snowmen and snow forts and lay down and make snow angels.
However you do it, enjoy this time of the year in Sanpete. It's great to have four seasons. And this time of sub-zero temperatures is definitely one of them.