I grew up in New Jersey, and spent my college and veterinary school years in New England. I am used to the winter. Heck, I learned how to drive on the ice in NJ and spent over 30 days in a row where the temperature never got above 20 degrees in Massachusetts one winter. (Frozen pipes? Yep.)
I know that wouldn’t count as a harsh winter for my North Dakota friends, but it was touch much for us Mass folks.
In New England, once winter sets in, it gets cold and snows. It stays cold and that snow sticks around until the spring. Not so in Indiana. Indiana cycles through snow, rain, and mud. For months.
The week after Christmas, we got somewhere between 12-18 inches of snow, in two storms. On January 11, it rained somewhere around 2 inches. The snow melted and the ditches flooded.
And it made mud. Lots and lots of mud.
We “get” to go out and play in the mud every day to make sure our cows are fed and watered, and that our outside farm dog and cats have plenty to eat and drink. (And to give the Sadie-dog her arthritis pill.)
We have dedicated mud boots.
Can you imagine trucking through mud like this in sneakers? Or cowboy boots? Nope, not me!
Then the question is… what to do with those muddy boots? In a perfect world, we would wash them off with a hose or hydrant outside, and then they would be clean. We don’t quite live in a perfect world.
See the pretty blue water line? It’s not actually hooked to that hydrant. The line is turned off inside the house and capped off at the end. There’s no water there. One of these days we’ll get the water project finished and this hydrant will be turned back on.
Until then, we’re left with the question of what to do with these muddy boots? We added a mudroom when we remodeled our house, just for this sort of thing. But it just doesn’t seem right to intentionally bring that much dirt into the house!
So we usually leave the super-muddy boots outside on the porch. Where we simultaneously hope they get rained on so they get rinsed off, and hope they don’t get rained on so the insides are dry the next time we need them. Eventually, the mud dries and we can just knock it off. Then the boots get to come inside. (Nothing worse than stepping into a cold, wet boot when you’re on your way to do farm chores!)
The chores I don’t mind so much… But cleaning up after them is no fun! What is your least favorite winter chore?