1. Holding down ‘alt 2 4 8’ makes that little degreee symbol… ° As in, I baked a yummy cake at 350° this weekend (a lie), or it is -4° outside right now with 20 mile per hour winds (the absolute truth). Isn’t that fantastic? I love it. ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °
  2. Clicking on the title of a post (as in, ‘shortcuts’ above) will show you that particular post as well as all the current comments… all in one page. While this may seem a small luxury, for me in Dial-Up Land it’s pure genius. Waiting for the pop-up screen on many blogs is torture and often sends my computer into a ‘oh my gosh I don’t think I can do this I quit’ spin. We try to avoid that.
  3. *ahem* Sometimes you have to just put the kid in the tub with all her clothes on. And that’s all we’re gonna say about that one.

There is no shortcut for Winter, my friends. And, rightly so. As I sit here, in the depths of February, I beg for sunshine and green and dirt and flowers and bbq… but I know I am not ready. We need Winter. The ground needs a rest. The animals need a rest. The sun needs a rest. There is a natural rhythm, well set and well tested. Winter is a time for self re-evaluation. For long nights of rest. For coming back to family. For looking inside again. For asking hard questions. For catching your breath. It is hard for me to sit with myself. I find myself searching for a shortcut to Spring. But, thankfully, there is none. Sit it out, He says. It’s coming.

I’ve spent a lot of time in places that skip seasons. And, while I do love the gentleness of winter in California and Tejas, I find myself so thankful to have made a home in a place that goes to extremes with the seasons. You want Summer? How ’bout a freshwater lake with sandy beaches and 80° weather for 2 months straight… and camping and sunshine until 10pm? Love it. Oh, but tired of heat and humidity and, perhaps, your children? S’ok. It’s time for Fall. School’s starting again and there’ll be cool nights and hayrides and late-night bonfires and an apple crop to rival Washington. Getting tired? Rightly so. It’s time for Winter. I’ve got snow drifts and ice and wood stoves and stew on the way. Ah, enough reflection? You’re right. It’s time for Spring. How about soil that can grow anything, grass that comes up to your knees, and animals of all sorts wandering through your backyard? I love having all four seasons.

I am tired of Winter. Perhaps it is better to say I am tired of myself. But, for once, I will not seek out the shortcut. I will sit and I will read and I will play (indoors) and I will prepare for Spring. It will come. There was never a time when Spring did not come. And when it does come… when the ground thaws, when the birds return, when the nights get longer… when Spring does come we will be ready in both body and soul. And, I will stay outside for. ev. VER. And I will not wear shoes. Or a jacket.

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

15 responses to “shortcuts

  • thekooiet

    You’re quick this morning! I love what you wrote…putting things in beautiful perspective. I love Michigan, and it’s four seasons.

    is a really beautiful song about Michigan…I wish I could hear it and just not read it…the words seem a bit cheesy on their own…but with a beautiful satb choir sing’n it…it’s gorgeous.

    Oh, and look! VVVVVVvvvvvvv…my v key works…it just needed some time to dry out from my spewage.

  • sunday

    i was wondering how you know your way around a keyboard so well. Like how do you cross out words like you do? you are genius. i am sure someone has told you that, if not yourself. you are indeed correct. the spring ALWAYS comes. Of course I can’t complain one bit. I live in the south where winter is nowhere like yours. thanks for always sharing with us and giving us a good perspective on life. you are so right!

  • Mandi

    Your words are very beautiful! But I have to say, I’m very thankful that here in Tejas we don’t really have Winter to speak of. I definitely couldn’t take myself…or any temperatures below about 40 degrees.

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    i had been okay with winter until we got back from the Keys the other day. the world was hot, sunny and lush, and we returned to gray cold. i’m pining for spring. i wish i could take hold of the introspective perspective and enjoy the lingering drabness, but alas, i am not patient. i want green warmth. now please.

  • Becky Swann

    yeah for seasons that make us appreciate all the others. Would spring be as fantastic if winter didn’t come before it?

  • sunday

    you were right
    ☻ oh look i made a smiling face i did not mean to!

  • Miss Laura

    I’m sorry I didn’t get to la iglesia yesterday to give you the book, but when I do get it to you, I’m sure it will bring much introspection…if not about you, then certainly about Henry VIII.

    I love winter, I really do, but when your ice scraper breaks right off because it’s just too cold and you go to Target and they’re SOLD OUT OF THEM, it’s time to throw in the towel, I think.

  • diane

    This is so beautiful and right on the mark. I couldn’t have put my own thoughts together better than you’ve done here. Well done, KatieKate.

    I told someone recently that we Michiganders are a very forgiving people. We forget how harsh our Winters are because of the GLORIOUSNESS that is our Spring, Summer and Fall. They are worth waiting for.

  • Anonymous

    I grew up with the beautiful four seasons of Ohio. Born in the fall, it is my favorite. The colors of the trees are something my students here can only imagine.
    But it is spring here in Texas. Baby goats are being born. It is the time of new Life. Rebirth.
    What about south of the equator…they are leaving summer and heading into fall… their Easter is in fall. Can’t imagine little girls in their new Easter clothes…in the fall.

  • Miss Christine

    I was going to claim dibs on some beautiful delicious cake before I realized you were lying… 🙂

  • Wende

    Hal Borland didn’t live in Oregon. Just sayin’.

    And the older I get, the less I want seasons and the more I just want sun. Eternal sunshine. I don’t see how it could get old, really.

  • Anonymous

    Do you know that I read your blog faithfully, looking forward to soaking up your thoughts like I do my morning coffee? It makes me want to have coffee with you regularly, which in a way I do, as I drink my daily brew and read your words while the house is still quiet and Anne and Ben are asleep. I am thankful you offer up the beautiful words in your head, like this one about winter. So true, the desire to end the introspection and bleakness which fully prepares us for new growth and life and birds exploding into song. I am reading Better Off at your recommendation and it is like breathing in fresh outside air after being stuck indoors for too long. Have you read Last Child in the Woods? Or a gem of a children’s book Whittington? I highly recommend both.

  • KatieKate

    Friends! Your words are too too kind… and very much needed after a ridiculous drive into church last night only to find that it was CANCELLED GO HOME NEVER COME BACK AGAIN. ugh. I drove home thinking, “I hate Winter. I hate snow. I hate ice.” It’s a process 🙂

    And Wende’s right. I don’t think Hal ventured into Oregon OR Michigan, for that matter. He was prolly on a beach somewhere.

    How much is Bermuda right now?
    Just kidding.
    I’ll wait.

  • Jimmy

    You slay us with your words. After a hard day at work, I can’t wait to see what you write and the pictures you take.

    Rylie looks so cute in her warm vest and sneakers.

    Rose came by the other day and danced for us, she said it was to chase winter away.


  • Lisa and Gary...

    Kate, I had to come out of blogger lurker land for this post. (I link over through friends of friends…long story, no way to shorten). Anyway, I hear you on the 4 seasons. They inspire always a hope for things to come, and change, and growth, and new beginnings. You hit the nail on the head.

    I was born and raised in Michigan and would have been happy to live out my eternal days in her arms. But life threw me a curveball in the form of my husband and now I dwell in the desert southwest…where I crave the change of seasons but wake most every day to sun and blue skies.

    Believe it or not, it does get old. But I’ll make you a deal. I’ll send warm thoughts if you’ll make me a snow angel!

    Enjoy your posts. Maybe now, less creepily. 🙂

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