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Monday, February 24, 2014

Adventures in Life: It's not as bad as The Long Winter

Oh, another week of freezing cold temperatures...

When I feel myself slip in to a negative attitude about something, there are several things I usually do to try to snap myself out of it as quick as possible. One such method I've used recently in regards to the never-ending-cold-and-snowy-winter weather we have been having is to focus on being thankful. For example, the other day I was doing some organizing in our junk room office and I came across my well loved set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books. The title that caught my attention right away was the book The Long Winter.

 And it got me thinking...yes, this winter has been long, and cold, and snowy...but compared to Laura's account of the winter of 1880-1881, I really have it easy! So I started making a mental list of reasons why living though this winter is not as bad as living through The Long Winter...mostly to cheer myself up. And boy do I ever have a lot of things to be thankful for. I thought it might be able to help some of you look on the brighter side of this crazy winter weather as well...

So here we go! 5 reasons why this winter is not as bad as...

1) This winter is not as bad as The Long Winter because I have not woken up to a bed with a layer of snow or ice on top of the quilt. Several times in the book Laura tells of waking up in the morning and having a quilt stiff with ice over her. Or even snow when the tar paper gets ripped off the roof from the wind. Thankfully our house is nice and toasty warm!

2) This winter is not as bad as The Long Winter because school is still happening. In the book the weather was so cold and snowy, and there was so little heating fuel, everyday became a snow day. They just closed the school. So as many snow days as people have had around here, it's not as many as the Long Winter.

3) This winter is not as bad as The Long Winter because I had chicken for dinner last night. In the book the town was basically out of food by Christmas. No trains could make it to the town to drop off supplies for the stores. The Ingalls family survived on potatoes and bread. And toward spring the just had bread...bread made from wheat they ground themselves in a coffee grinder. By hand. No matter how cold and snowy it gets, the fully stocked grocery store is just a few minutes drive from our house. And I am VERY thankful for that. 

4) This winter is not as bad as The Long Winter because I don't have to twist straw into sticks to keep my house warm. When the coal ran out, the Ingalls family used straw to heat their house. Pa and Laura twisted it into "straw sticks" to help it burn better. I'm so thankful for the invention of gas heating!

And finally...

5) This winter is not as bad as The Long Winter because we have indoor plumbing. Need I say more?! No matter how cold and snowy it gets outside, and no matter how long it lasts, I don't have to go outside to use the bathroom. 

One of the very last chapters in the book is titled...

So, if Laura and her family can make it through The Long Winter,
we can too!
Spring is on it's way.
Just a bit more winter and then we will really enjoy and appreciate Spring!


  1. Those are all great reasons to reflect on!! My grandpa was just saying today that our area has a shot at being the 2nd snowiest winter since they've started measuring snowfall in our area, but even so, we wouldn't even be close to the all-time record, which was a winter over 60 years ago and with significantly more snow than the 102" we've received this year

  2. We are so spoiled, aren't we? My dad raises beef and had a couple of cows butchered for all of us a few weeks ago. We sorted and divided the meat last Saturday. We all turned up our noses at the heart and tongue and liver, but my parents and aunts-in their 80's were happy to have it. We agreed that none of the rest of us had ever really been hungry enough to appreciate ALL the cow. What a blessed country we live in!

  3. I enjoyed reading those books when I was younger.
    That's definitely one way to put all the cold and winter into perspective. It's not nearly as harsh as it used to be.

  4. I loved this post. So TRUE!

  5. Ha, I love this post! I totally forgot about some of that in The Long Winter. It's been a long time since I read those books.