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ANN BAILEY COLUMN: Stuck for some dry weather

If I ever do have the opportunity to get away for a few weeks to a warmer climate, I would do it this time of year. I may change my mind when I get to retirement age, but right now I have no desire to go south during the winter. I enjoy activitie...

If I ever do have the opportunity to get away for a few weeks to a warmer climate, I would do it this time of year.

I may change my mind when I get to retirement age, but right now I have no desire to go south during the winter. I enjoy activities such as sledding and keeping up with sporting events at Larimore (N.D.) High School and UND.

It's the gloomy, muddy, mucky season we are in now that I really could do without. For one thing, it gets me down when it is cloudy and misty, day after day. I know that if we get into a dry spell this summer, I'll look back and be grateful for the rain, but right now I just long for a string of sunny days.

But the bigger issue I have with the weather is that just as the spring bug invasion began to subside, I was besieged by mud.

Don't get me wrong; I've never been a dainty, "girly, girl," who can't stand getting dirty. Growing up on the farm I learned early that if I was going to get the job done right, it required getting some dirt under my fingernails.

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As an adult, I love digging in the dirt in the garden and during the summer, I enjoy splashing through mud puddles with daughter, Ellen, 3.

Meanwhile, I've cleaned a variety of animal and fowl pens during my day from cattle and horse stalls to chicken houses.

Too much mud

That said, I don't like it when it rains day after day, the horses' corral turns into a quagmire, and I run out of dry places to feed them - and to walk. It becomes a new adventure every day trying to tromp through the corral without getting stuck in the mud. The other day I lost that battle.

I had just put down the feed pan for Zammie, one of our horses, when my feet planted in 6 inches of mud. I kept moving forward, expecting my boots to follow, but the left one didn't. That meant I had to make a quick decision whether to try to pull out the right one and make an attempt to jump back into my other boot or bite the bullet and walk barefoot a few steps to my boot.

I opted for the latter. I remembered the time years ago when my sister, Bonnie, lost her balance in a similar situation in the cattle feedlot and fell forward. She wasn't a pretty sight when I pulled her to her feet.

Fortunately, I didn't meet the same fate during the recent episode in the horses' corral. Still, that's the last time I will wear my boots without socks. Not only did the mud and muck squishing between my toes feel "yucky," as Ellen would say, but it was doggoned cold.

Inside, tooBecause it is nearly everywhere on the farm, it's unavoidable to drag some of the mud into the house. If we try to keep the "damage" to a minimum by removing our shoes at the door we are foiled because it's clinging to the cuffs of our pants and smears across the floors as we walk around the house.

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If we roll up our pants, then someone forgets that Molly, our dog, should stay on the porch until she dries, and she leaves a trail of muddy paw prints behind her.

On the bright side, we haven't felt compelled to wash the porch and kitchen floors as often as we normally do, using the excuse that "It will get dirty, anyway." Instead, we go through rolls of paper towels wiping up the muddy spots.

Come dry weather, we'll just get out the power washer. Or, if I win the lottery in the next couple of weeks, we'll head to Louisiana to visit my brother and sister-in-law and come back in mid-May.

Ann Bailey writes for Recollections. Reach her by phone at (701) 787-6753, (800) 477-6572, ext. 753 or e-mail her at abailey@gfherald.com

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