In the Wintertime

I was a big Steve Miller Band fan when I was in high school.  Songs like "The Joker" were popular at that time.  He was born in Milwaukee and attended the University of Wisconsin. He had another song, "Winter Time," that always sent a chill down my spine.

"In the winter time
When all the leaves are brown
And the wind blows so chill
And the birds have all flown for the summer
I'm callin', hear me callin', hear me callin'."

I had mixed feelings about winter as a kid living in the city.   We spent time outside, but not really in nature.  Winter in the city is different.  Entertainment often involved snowball fights.  Some of the bolder kids learned to loft snowballs towards passing cars or even at streetlights.  

One time, when I was in the eighth grade and on my way to school, a driver erroneously believed that we had thrown a snowball at his car.  He came careening around the corner, pulling across the center line to the curb, where I was standing with friends.  He rolled down the window and pointed a gun at us.  His girlfriend urged him to put the gun away, and he did, driving away.  We never said a word to anybody about that. 

In the country, winter is dead quiet.  I'll take Callie outside just before bedtime and listen to the sound of nothing.  If we're lucky, we hear an owl hooting or coyotes yipping in the distance.  

 In the prairie above the Lodi Marsh, the natural world opens up.  There are no distractions.

This is the last week of winter break.  Allie will be heading back to Milwaukee to begin her job hunt.  I've enjoyed her company and appreciate her willingness to care-give for Justin, while he's been home.

I turned 59 this past week.  We celebrated with a minced lamb dinner at my favorite new Middle Eastern restaurant in Sun Prairie.  When you're growing up, you never imagine yourself as 59 years old.  It kind of sneaks up on you.  

They say that you are as young as you feel.  Most days, I feel pretty young.  Callie helps.


  1. Congrats on making it to your 60th year.

    A couple of those photos almost - almost - made me nostalgic about Michigan winters.

    At every birthday over 50 I used to say "one more year closer to retirement!", then at 58 I retired. . .

    After that it was "One more year closer to Medicare!" - well, I passed that mark last year.

    Now I don't know what I'm going to say. "One year closer to The Daughter changing my diaper!" just doesn't have that celebratory ring to it. Maybe I'll switch to "One more year down without needing the walker!"

  2. Thanks.

    I take careful note of the "almost" part. I must admit that I'm sometimes jealous of the warmer weather of the West and South during the winter. Because I would miss snow, I think someday we might settle in the mountain west. I go back and forth on that. Wisconsin has a pretty low cost of living, and it makes a good home base. Anyway, due to family considerations, we're going to be here for awhile, so I might as well make the most of the winters.


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