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From the Farm

No need for 'cool'

December 12, 2008

I have decided to take a couple of weeks off to prepare for the upcoming holidays. Please enjoy some of my previous favorite columns

As I sit in my black leather office chair, pulled up to a tiny antique table that holds my laptop, I can look out an old window and appreciate the cold weather outside.

The snow on the north side of trees remains piled six-inches deep and it lends an awesome picture. The wind is non-existent, so it looks like a nice moderate day outside. However, I know it's not all that pleasant out. I have old windows; I can feel the gentle draft nipping at my toes.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

I need a new pair of slippers. Bad. (That's an obvious hint for Steve.)

The cold weather poses more problems than what I can ever remember. I guess it's probably because this is the longest cold snap Minnesota has experienced since - a long time ago. I think I heard the weather man say since 1999.

Our boys are totally oblivious to the fact that the cold weather requires a change in clothing. They need to dress appropriately for goodness sakes.

And, who better to teach them how to dress than their fashion-diva mom. I, after all, know when to wear my ruby red slippers and when to wear my work boots.

Because we have not managed to completely close the milking parlor off from the nasty outside world, whatever temperature it is outside, that's pretty close to the temperature in the parlor. (OK, so Monday morning I wimped out and closed the curtain between the parlor and the holding area in between groups. I couldn't stand the cold any more.)

Sunday was Joey's turn to come help milk the cows before church. Of course, we never made it to church. As usual, a heifer decided to give birth to her calf that morning. It was a bull calf.

Joey and Russell don't have to come out to the barn until 5:15 a.m. on their assigned days. I believe they appreciate getting to sleep until that time. They know that if they do complain, they'll be getting up with Steve and me at 4 a.m.

Anyway, Sunday morning, Joey creeps into the parlor to help with chores.

No hat.

No mittens.

No boots.

"Aren't you cold?" I asked.

"Nope," he said with his hands jammed into his coat pockets.

"You can't be serious," I said. "Here I am in five layers of clothing and I am chilly."

"Well, I have three layers of clothes on. I have this shirt, this sweatshirt and my jacket on," he said as he pulled on each item when he said it.

"Well, my five layers does not include my sweatshirt or my waterproof clown suit," I retorted. (My clown suit is my waterproof milking bibs and jacket. Two items I would never do without when I milk the cows.)

"Yea, well, you're old," he said with a chuckle.

What could I do? I couldn't argue with him; when he chuckles, the world chuckles with him. In Joey's eyes, I am old. I do notice I tend to chill easier. I suppose when I was his age I wouldn't be caught dead in a stocking cap or clodhopper boots either. No matter how I try, I can't convince him that sixth graders are "cool" when they wear hats.

I'm glad I have matured and I don't mind going to town in my Mycogen stocking hat - sans the puffball on top (I miss the puffball), grease-stained winter jacket, poop-stained winter work bibs and clodhopper rubber boots.

I don't need to be "cool" any more.

All I need is warmth.

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