Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘new year

Cold Start

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In the purest definition of my life memories of what “up north” during a Minnesota winter entails, we have been enjoying gorgeous deep snow scenes and seriously cold temperatures. It stays below zero all day long for days at a time and there is no sign anywhere of the fallen snow melting on the ground. No slush on the rural roads. Just hard-packed snow with occasional areas of sand dropped at higher traffic intersections.

The first day of January offered clear skies and plenty of sun, the common denominator for extremely cold temperatures. With no cloud cover to hold a little of the earth’s heat, the air feels like it is aligning with the temperatures of deep space above.

Delilah’s thick fur coat keeps her comfortable all but the bottoms of her paws. She isn’t a big fan of standing around in the cold. In fact, even if we are walking along with her, she wants to pick up the pace and hustle to get wherever the heck it is we intend on going.

After multiple snowshoeing adventures this weekend, I think she has figured out that the initial extra time she is made to wait at the beginning while we are strapping on the odd contraptions to our boots, comes with a payoff of opportunities to romp in the deep stuff shortly after.

We bushwhacked right from the driveway into the wooded contours of the southern edge of the Chippewa National Forest yesterday and I guided Delilah to select a navigable route atop a ridge, every so often aligned with the tracks revealing deer had already done the same.

It is a treat to watch the glee of Delilah’s leaping through the deep snow. She has no choice but to leap, actually, since it is deeper than her legs are long.

The only setback she experiences is the need to pause once in a while to chew away the snow that balls up between her toes. I can imagine that feels just as annoying as the snow that collects under the cleat of my snowshoes in certain conditions. We didn’t have that problem with the cold powder snow this weekend.

It was a cold start of the year 2022, but a grand one for us. Here’s hoping it proves to be a hint of greater times to come.

It was truly precious to kick off the new year in such a special place with our even more special friends and hosts, Barb and Mike Wilkus.

We will spend the rest of today on the road, heading home to see how the horses are doing in this coldest weather since they arrived with us last April. Having dreamt about horses this morning, I’m feeling a heightened urge to get home to see ours.

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Written by johnwhays

January 2, 2022 at 10:14 am

Hello 2022

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Happy New Year! Good Riddance, Old Year! Let’s hope the coming year will bring the ultimate demise of the current global pandemic so we can better focus on dealing with the growing weather calamities caused by the ever-warming planet. We find ourselves under the spell of a deep freeze of -31°(F) this morning here just north of Grand Rapids, MN.

We celebrated the last day of 2021 yesterday with a hearty snowshoe hike in the woods on nearby Wilkus’ property before the temperatures plummeted well below zero.

They have christened the property with an acronym’d designation garnered from Barb and Mike’s grandchildren: Maggie, Allie, Jackson, Jack, and Caleb.

It is a perfect name for the magical plot of varying elevations with thick tree growth and a pond nestled in a bowl surrounded by a prominent ridge.

With almost two feet of relatively fresh snow accumulation creating iconic winter landscape views, we let Delilah bounce ahead to break a trail that we widened with our snowshoes.

For some reason, I kept noticing a mental image of a steamy cup of hot cocoa forming while we clomped through the powder. Barb made my dream come true after we got back to the cabin.

As you might imagine, Delilah was in her glory, pouncing about like “T-i-double guh-er” of Winnie the Pooh fame in the deep snow.

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It took extra effort to dissuade her from a fixation on a tree in which she spied a nut-weilding squirrel energetically climb. So many new sights and smells for her to explore.

She didn’t seem all that fired up about our staying up late to hoot and holler over the Times Square ball dropping in New York at 11:00 p.m. our time. As long as it was midnight somewhere, it was good enough for us to call it a night.

May the new year treat you all with big love in all the best of forms that can be manifest!

Peace!

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Written by johnwhays

January 1, 2022 at 10:36 am

Kissed

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if you were here
for the turn of the year
I’d have likely kissed you
kissed your soul
which I can do anyway
outside of time and space
between the essences
of solid dynamics
and ethereal planes
we intermingle
energy vibrations
frequency modulations
fantastic presentations
of lyrical singing
musical winging
brilliant beginnings
lighting like fireworks
crossing the sky
floating past planets
inside our brains
lasting forever
bonding like atoms
in complementary structures
so vast
probabilities collide
starting over again
a brand new calendar
with the very same days
another year older
and a kiss
blown on a wave

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Written by johnwhays

January 1, 2021 at 7:00 am

First Time

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We are on something of a “stay-cation,” in that, we didn’t go up to Hayward with Cyndie’s parents for the New Year celebration, but we are spending a few days with them at their home in Edina. Like we did for Christmas, we’ve brought along Delilah and left the chickens cooped up and Pequenita by herself at home.

Cyndie’s eyelids are showing signs of good recovery and she has begun to only occasionally stray from doctor’s orders to NOT bend over. Most importantly, she has thus far successfully avoided inadvertently rubbing her eyes as the healing process causes them to itch.

I can’t say the same for myself. Since the day of her surgery, I have been rubbing my eyes more than ever out of sympathetic response to her situation.

For the most part, Delilah seems to be taking to our sudden suburban living with impressive ease. I, on the other hand, am being pushed beyond my boundaries. For the first time in my life, I have needed to pick up my dog’s poop. I never thought I would allow myself to be stuck in this situation.

Cyndie and I have taken turns walking her around the neighborhood and both of us are making adjustments to avoid contact with any other dog walkers. She has failed to accomplish successful introductions so many times that we have pretty much quit trying. The only way I would try again would be if someone told me they wanted their dog to be grabbed and shaken like a rag doll. Delilah has proved she is able to offer that service. Otherwise, I’m thinking we are beyond the point of trying to socialize her with other dogs.

While out with her last night in the latest snowstorm, my feet slipped out from under me on the polished packed snow beneath the new-fallen layer on the once-plowed street. Can you say, “Hip plant!”? I’m gonna have a bruise there, I think.

Delilah seems to be doing her best to claim territory on the streets surrounding Cyndie’s parents’ house. Mailbox posts get an awful lot of attention. Safe within the confines of the basement rooms, she boldly barks at the sight of any activity at neighboring properties.

It’s certainly not the first time she has barked at something she sees outside the window.

Here’s wishing you all a safe celebration of the end of a decade and dawn of a new one!

Tomorrow will be the first time we’ve ever been in the year 2020. May all of us experience a new year filled with more peace and love than ever before.

Wouldn’t that be a priceless first?

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Written by johnwhays

December 31, 2019 at 7:00 am

Start Fresh

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So, we start a new year today. What do you say we make it a better one than all the years before! Make healthy decisions, be compassionate, practice patience, love more and more. Take best care of yourself, which will then inherently be a positive healthy influence on those around you.

When individuals take steps to make the world a better place, it tends to make the world a better place.

Peace and love, my dear readers! Visualize peace and love.

Isn’t “Happy New Year” just the best of salutations?

Let’s make it so.

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Written by johnwhays

January 1, 2019 at 7:00 am

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Year Ends

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Today is the last day of 2018. What do you make of that? I think it’s just another Monday, strikingly similar to all the others, no matter where they fall in a year.

Our animals don’t seem to notice any particular significance to the date. The passage of time is doing our balding Wyandotte hen a bit of good. New feathers are slowly growing in.

They have all handled the day of rain and following freeze well enough, mostly by spending the majority of the ensuing days beneath the overhang with the horses. For their part, the horses show signs of understanding the precariousness of the icy slope, but it hasn’t kept them from braving the danger to walk down to the waterer, even though we put a tub to drink from by the barn to save them the trip.

I noticed several marks of slipping hooves which was rather unsettling, but they are choosing to make the trek of their own free will. I trust their horse sense in this instance, partly because the last time we tried to outsmart them, it didn’t go so well.

Walking Delilah around the perimeter trails has become a treacherous exercise of trying to walk like a penguin over very unpredictable surfaces. She hasn’t been slowed much by the conditions, so there is an added challenge of being pulled along by her, faster than little steps accommodate.

When she stopped to give a prolonged inspection to something that caught the attention of her nose, I spotted this single stalk of some plant that was dropping seeds on the snow. It looks like such a delicate process playing out, despite the harsh elements nature has been delivering lately.

It’s just another Monday, and life goes on.

I don’t know if it is something of a placebo effect, but since we are now over a week beyond the shortest day of the winter solstice, I got the impression it was already lighter outside during our late afternoon walk.

Or, it could just be the dawning of a new year.

Farewell to 2018 and greetings to 2019! It’s all just a series of individual moments. May we benefit by paying attention to them all.

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Twenty Eighteen

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Happy New Year!

Time to turn over a new calendar, or something like that. The health clubs and fitness centers will be crowded for a week or two, and based on past evidence, the numbers will return to normal again by the end of the month.

Humans.

We’re a funny bunch.

However you notch the passage of time, may this eighteenth year of the millennium greet you with unlimited possibility for optimal health and well-being.

Find the happy! It’s a worthy goal for which to strive.

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Written by johnwhays

January 1, 2018 at 8:04 am

‘Nother Year

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hny2017e.

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Written by johnwhays

January 1, 2017 at 6:00 am

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Wonderful Adventures

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We enjoyed a fabulous day of wonderful adventures on the first day of 2016 up in the woods of northern Minnesota with our friends Barb and Mike. I captured some evidence.

We went for a walk in the woods of their nearby property…

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We went for a walk on their lake. It is a very, very deep water lake, and only recently froze over. We mostly stayed close to the shore. The ice thickness was reported as being just enough to support foot traffic, but nothing beyond that yet.

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DSCN4310eI wore my festive hat that the Morales family bought for me when they visited us at Wintervale a couple of Christmases ago. Perfect!

We topped off the incredible day with a visit to a neighboring property where I experienced two amazing firsts. This family hosts an annual New Year celebration with their own custom fireworks show. I have never stood that close to a show that was that big and that spectacular. I’m happy to report, we all survived unscathed. Did I mention it was spectacular?

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Too bad my hasty attempt at capturing one of the explosions with my pocket camera didn’t do it the justice it deserves.

The other first for me was witnessing this brilliant design for burning a one log fire in a vertical position. What amazed me was that I hadn’t come across this before in my 56 years of existence. I want to make some!

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Written by johnwhays

January 2, 2016 at 10:13 am

Newest Year

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This is the newest year ever! 2016 is brand spankin’ new. I hope your greeting from the 1st day of January this year was a friendly one.

Our drive north yesterday, with Delilah along for her first long car trip, went better than we imagined it might. She did great. She settled in amazingly well at the cabin of our good friends, Barb & Mike Wilkus. It helps that Mike is especially good with dogs, greeting her with a treat, right from the start.DSCN4276e

After a fantastic steak dinner, he offered Delilah a bone to chew. I think I noticed her swooning over him. She has a new best friend.

At Delilah’s usual bed time, Cyndie put her in her crate and dropped the cover over it, and we moved to the kitchen to play cards. After a short while, Delilah began to whine in her bed. Cyndie decided to give Delilah a little more time with us while we were still up. The dog was as happy as could be over her good fortune.

Later, to top off an otherwise stellar day of good behavior, Delilah ended up putting herself back to bed in her crate when she got tired. Cute and very helpful! We are confident she is feeling very, very comfortable here.

Goodbye to the year 2015. Bring on the new year, the newest year, 2016!

Look out, new year. Here we come.

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Written by johnwhays

January 1, 2016 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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