Thursday, October 25, 2012


Our freaky weather continues. Thanks to a fluke of the jet stream, we had near record high temps yesterday, with the mercury soaring to 80 degrees (keep in mind we’re just one week out from Halloween, which frequently comes with snow flurries along with trick-or-treaters in these parts.)

Last night the low was a warm and humid 65. Unreal. We slept with the windows open. Tonight’s low is forecast to be in the upper 20s, which is relatively normal, and the weekend looks happily cold and blustery.

It’s not a minute too soon. I am not a fan of hot weather. This summer’s blistering record-temps were nearly the end of me.

Color me ready for flannel sheets, hot cocoa, long underwear (c’mon, it’s silk, not a red flannel union suit), frosty mornings and crisp afternoon walks. I want to wear my winter coat and my cool new  Iowa State University stocking cap.

At the risk of tempting fate, I love fall and I love that winter is coming. Bring it!

There. I said it out loud. I love fall and winter. Yes. I know the daylight hours are dwindling and training outdoors will soon be unrealistic and the roads will get crappy and I’ll need gallons of lotion to battle dry skin and I’ll eventually catch some weird mutated cold virus that will lay me low for a few weeks. I’ll have to drag all my jumps and ring gates inside, wage war against frozen pipes in the basement and swear creatively when the garage door freezes shut.

Don’t care.

The real reason I am such a fan of late autumn and winter is that I finally get to STAY HOME. This year has been a dazzling whirlwind of obedience and agility trials, a trip to Malinois nationals and a ridiculous number of wonderful seminars. It felt like I spent more time loading and unloading R2 for another road trip than anything else. During the week, there were classes to take and teach, plus matches and lessons on my “free” weekends. Training get-togethers with friends were wedged into any available cracks in the schedule.

I wouldn’t have missed any of it for the world but I am ready for a break. I’m ready to slow down and hibernate for a couple of months. It’s great to be busy and active and have so many fun things to do. But the last 10 months have been non-stop. I vaguely remember having a summer break from obedience trials but agility trials filled in that gap.

There was no rest for the wicked. Seriously.

Now the wicked want to rest. We want to sit in our recliners with steaming mugs of tea in our hands and dogs on our laps and read good books or watch movies. We want to come home from work in the evening and stay home - not head back out in the dark and cold and drive somewhere to teach classes. We want to have entire Saturdays and Sundays that are not committed to clubs and trials. We want to be selfish. Just for a little bit.

Dare I say we want to think about getting ready for the holidays? Shopping? Baking? Cleaning? For the last few years, I’ve made it a point to have any classes I’m teaching wrapped up by Thanksgiving. Teaching between Thanksgiving and New Years has proven to be largely a waste of time in the past - people are overwhelmed and preoccupied. Throw in a few weather cancellations and pretty soon the new year arrives and I'm still trying to finish the old year's classes. So now we're done before Turkey Day and that's that.

Now it’s time to hibernate. To finish up the year's odds and ends and relax. To clear my calendar and not feel guilty about it. To enjoy holiday stuff. With dog friends, of course. While planning for 2013. I’ve got my new organizer-calendar-planner thingie. And I’m already filling in dates. Not going to Mal or Terv nationals next year and don’t have a single seminar on the horizon.

What will I do with all that extra time?


  1. I'll admit that I love winter here! Of course, I get rain rather than snow... But flannel lined jeans are one of the best inventions ever, and watching dogs bounding across a fresh snow fall is awesome!

  2. Count me in as a winter lover. I just wish we had more snow here in Central PA. And I too have gotten to the point where I WANT to stay home and putz around. Sure, I could do more cleaning (yeah, right) and maybe I could clean out the dining room which is currently the 'catch all' area, but there is plenty of time for that when/if we get some nasty weather. For now I don't want or need to commit to classes or trials. BTW, I don't like the end of daylight savings time. Everyone goes on about getting that extra hour of sleep. NOT IN MY HOUSE! And even if I did I still feel tired all day. Thank goodness we are starting the season of hibernation or as you say, hot tea/cocoa, movies and time spent in the recliner with two grey dogs insisting on sharing my lap (thank goodness I have an oversized recliner).