Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Mud Returns

with 4 comments

Pick your adage: Be careful what you wish for. What could possibly go wrong? You never know how things will turn out. How much worse can it get?

It’s March. We are ready to be done plowing and shoveling snow. We are looking forward to seeing the ground again. We want the snow to melt. However, the ground doesn’t suddenly thaw out all at once. Just like it freezes from the top layer on down, it melts in the very same way.

Well, the top layer has thawed just beyond the overhang and it is now a muddy, mucky mess. The water can’t soak into the ground because the next layer down is still frozen solid. Water is just standing in hoof-sized pools.

My perpetual quest to clean up manure beneath and around the overhang promptly becomes an unwinnable battle when fresh droppings land in the pockmarked slurry of muck the horses keep walking in. It is a Sisyphean task that I nonetheless continue to wage despite the mess and my limited success.

Meanwhile, the space beneath the roof suddenly becomes an even more luxurious oasis than it usually is.









The long day of drizzling rain was beginning to become sleet blown sideways by gusty winds when I went down to feed the horses at dinnertime. Beneath the overhang, it was calm and dry. Once again, I found myself praising the location and orientation of this barn.

The mud might be around for a long time to come in the days and weeks ahead but we are already starting to get antsy for conditions to allow me to get back to landscaping projects and Cyndie to try walking the uneven terrain down to the labyrinth. We have hopes of being able to promote World Labyrinth Day on May 6 this year if the ground dries up enough for hosting larger gatherings by then.

I’d like to offer a shout-out to friends, Patty and Steve who plan to visit us in April to experience Wintervale in person for the first time. Here’s to the gift of unexpected connections/reconnections that seem divinely inspired. Thanks for reaching out to us, Patty!

We are three days from the vernal equinox. I’m sensing spring is preparing to be sprung. Is that too much to wish for?



Written by johnwhays

March 17, 2023 at 6:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. It is strange that we think of global warming as warming rather than excessive unpredictability resulting in sudden changes that mess with our sense of preparedness. You have amazing coping skills, John: I never cease to be impressed.

    Ian Rowcliffe

    March 17, 2023 at 6:23 am

    • Ian, you are spot on with the excessive unpredictability resulting in sudden changes. Overnight, the muddy mess we were facing became a bitterly cold, frozen scrambled surface that is harder to navigate than the mud. This winter has been a real test of my ability to cope. The wind chill yesterday and this morning was more similar to a January mindset than March but my brain is more interested in thinking about how close we are getting to April.


      March 18, 2023 at 9:10 am

      • Yes, the power of the joy of expectation to get you through… as I said, amazing coping skills. And April will be special like never before…

        Ian Rowcliffe

        March 18, 2023 at 9:14 am

      • Thank you for the inspiration. I’m hoping April will be particularly rewarding this year!


        March 18, 2023 at 9:20 am

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