We are talking about some spine-chilling weather lately! The way it sounds, many of you have also been having exceptionally cold temperatures as well. I felt sorry for those who really got hit with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures and on top of everything else, had their electricity go out. I hope and pray that it won’t last long and everyone will be all right.
Julia and Austin have been excitedly waiting and praying for enough snow to go sledding and build snowmen. Finally, their petition was granted, excitement reigned as they watched out the windows as the ground turned from a drab brown to a pure white. Before even an inch of snow had fallen, Julia was ready to get her sled and go try it out for the first time this winter. For months, she had been waiting to go out sledding with Mom or Daddy; now the time had finally come. Where we live in Southern Illinois, snow really is a rare treat for the children.
Austin was all excited as well, that is, until he was outside in the chilly winter wind! As a young girl, skating was a wintertime highlight for me. Of course, times have changed, responsibilities have been added. I no longer attend the church skatings like I used to. Sometimes we have what we call “skatings” on a farm pond, where everyone in church is invited to attend. The youth generally make up the greater percentage of those attending the skatings along with some married couples and younger children. Of course, this is a rare treat for everyone with the minimal amount of cold weather we have in a short time frame.
Last week, my sister related how she went to a skating and they were treated to roasted bacon wrapped hotdogs and snacks. With the temperatures in the single digits, they had a problem with the bacon freezing to where it was difficult to separate the strips and wrap them around the hot dogs. First, they had to heat them at the bonfire beside the pond where the skaters could go to warm up. As for the s’mores that they planned to have, they turned out to be a flop. I didn’t know there could be a thing as flopped s’mores, but the marshmallows were simply too frozen to roast! It’s amazing how much vigor a young person can have to do something enjoyable, even if it requires some extra efforts and discomfort. As a little girl, I could barely fathom Dad’s stories of how he and his friend went camping in zero degrees and a snow-covered ground! Their adventurous boyish endeavors motivated them to sleep under a tarp rather than a real tent. He recalls how they went running (in the snow, of course) to try to warm themselves the next morning. According to his report, they did have a wonderful time in spite of the chilly conditions.
Now as a mother, I don’t have all the ambition I used to have when it comes to cold temperatures. I’m just thankful to get my children safely transported from one place to the next. I do enjoy my daily walks in the crisp winter weather, though. Thanks to Daniel, who kindly watches the children each evening after supper while I take my walk down our country road. It never fails to refresh my entire being. It breaks up my day and gives me fresh motivation to come back home and be a mother to our four little dears. One of the best parts is coming back to the children who often greet me with their big hugs.
I will definitely be thankful for warmer weather this spring, which simplifies getting everyone ready to go away, but in the meanwhile, we’ll enjoy our feathered friends at the bird feeders, the glow of candles, and an occasional cup of hot chocolate.
A wintertime favorite around here is soup. We enjoy various types and kinds. In fact, I usually don’t use a recipe, I just use whatever I happen to have in the refrigerator. I would like to pass on my mother’s ham and cheese soup recipe she uses on a regular basis. You will be sure to enjoy the creamy texture and delicious taste of this soup on a chilly winter evening!
Ham and potato soup
3 cups cubed potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 lb. ham, cubed
Several slices melting cheese
Put cubed potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water; cook until tender.
Melt butter in a three-quart sauce pan over medium heat, leave on heat until butter is nicely browned then add flour. Add milk, seasonings, and onions, stirring well. Boil for two minutes.
Add cooked potatoes; don’t drain.
Last, add ham and cheese.
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