JG logo

Hide photos

Last updated: March 2, 2011 10:06 a.m.

Weary winter chores

Sheryl Prentice
The Journal Gazette

Sheryl Prentice / The Journal GazetteCAT

Jeremy Prentice, son of Journal Gazette copy editor Sheryl Prentice, feeds the Belgian draft horses on a crisp winter day.

It's good to flip the calendar over to March after months of no green grass and breaking the ice in the livestock water tank. The coming of spring is the light at the end of the winter-chore tunnel.

No more fumbling in the dark to open the gate with a feed bucket in one hand and a flashlight in the other.

No more heavy gloves, Carhartt bibs and jackets or insulated boots.

No more carrying feed buckets across the ice- and snow-covered yard.

No more plowing through fields of hip-deep snowdrifts with the truck or the tractor to haul bales of hay to the Belgians, the saddle horses and the beef cattle.

No more filling the big water tank and remembering EVERY TIME to drain the spigot to keep it from freezing. You only need to make this error one time to learn the consequences. I invented brand new obscenities when I had to thaw the faucet in minus 17-degree weather.

Chores still have to be done in the spring and summer, but the work is easier with daylight-saving time, warmer weather, less cumbersome clothes and no pirouettes on the ice.

And best of all, an automatic float on the water tank.