Embrace winter and the gift of time

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By JUDITH SUTHERLAND

Farm and Dairy columnist

Once again, we find ourselves in the dead of winter, and for far too many of us, this is also the sick season.

Tips for life

Reaching for a tea bag to help soothe my sore throat on this chilly morning, I found The Wisdom Of Daily Life written on the side of the tiny box. H. Jackson Brown, who penned Life’s Little Instruction Book was quoted with the following instructions to a better life:

1. Watch a sunrise at least once a year.

2. Plant flowers every spring.

3. Look people in the eye.

4. Compliment three people every day.

5. Live beneath your means.

6. Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 percent of all your happiness or misery.

7. Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.

8. Don’t postpone joy.

Widen your horizons

Try adding a few of your own to this little list. I would add the importance of developing friendships with those who are much older and much younger; seeing the world through the perspective of others outside of our own vantage point brings a breath of fresh air to a set way of thinking.

Bundle up and go outside, even if just to take in the amazing power of a brisk wind, enough to take the breath away momentarily.

Read a book, write a note, bake something new and untried just to experience a unique taste. Wrap part of it up and give it to someone who would least expect a gift from you today.

Small things

Do something fun you haven’t done since you were a kid. One very long and chilly winter, my cousin Kim taught us all sorts of string games. It was totally surprising to us that we could be entertained simply by weaving string through our fingers in a certain way, and pairing up to accomplish the next step.

Kim’s little sister, Connie, and I became totally hooked on this fun string game and became lightning quick at each maneuver.

Did it have a name? All I know is we would search for the perfect weight of string to continue playing over and over. And I know that I can pick up random string to this day and still remember how to start the process of the game.

Even as we dread this middle of winter time, it is a time to relax and re-energize and catch up on things that are forced to wait when we are otherwise occupied in the busy growing season. It helps to remember to enjoy this as a gift.

About the Author

Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college. More Stories by Judith Sutherland

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