Pidge in Winter

Paul BunyanPidge in winter2/1/13 - Pidge lives in one of those north central states where winter starts early, is blizzardy, and goes on and on, except for this year, when winter started late, is blizzardy, and is going on and on. Throughout the dark frosty months, she dresses like an arctic explorer. Some days she forges out with an axe, Paul-Bunyan-like, to break up the ice in the low spot around her barn before the next thaw turns her yard into a slough and her horses' feet into oatmeal. She loads up the ice chunks and carts them off. That saves her the effort in warmer weather of floating a skiff onto the unbidden pond with a generator and electric bilge pump. 

HoarfrostPidge grew up on a Minnesota farm, so she appreciates winter and takes it in stride. By reading the hoarfrost on her trees, she knows the number of layers she needs in order to dress for the weather. At maximum cold, her work garb involves:

Thermal long johns and shirt

Flannel-lined jeans and flannel workshirt

Hooded sweatshirt

Insulated coveralls

Heavy hooded parka

Ski mask, scarf, gloves, mittens

Hat with earflaps

MargieRandyWhen she describes this, I laugh and think of Margie from the movie Fargo. Pidge laughs and adds "or Randy from A Christmas Story."

Either way, she's a strong and practical woman, living up there on the northern plains and taking passionate care of herself and her livestock.

She's my hero.