Horsin’ Around

Spring seeps into the soul


One Monday in April, I spent the day driving up to Waupaca, Wisconsin, with my co-workers to meet with other employees at the Wisconsin State Farmer newspaper, which I help edit. The weather was iffy — mostly rain by us — but gradually turning to snow as we drove north.

As soon as we neared Waupaca, we found ourselves staring at a Winter Wonderland — miles of trees crusted with snow and ice.
Groans were heard from inside the car, but I had to say it: “It’s kind of pretty, actually.”

On Friday of that same week, I was driving from barn to barn, taking care of many different horses since many of my clients were out of town on spring break. The temperature was higher than 50 degrees, the sun was shining and I had my windows down.

As I drove, I found myself driving at a much slower speed, constantly glancing from side to side out of the windows. One man was out jogging on the Kettle Moraine Trails with his dog. A group of guys looked like they were doing some hiking or hunting. (I’m not a hunter so I’m not sure if anything is in season right now.) I drove past a teenage boy who was walking next to the small creek with his fishing pole.

After passing through this abundance of activity, a big grin broke onto my face. I love spring in Wisconsin! It’s not just the animals that come out of hibernation, but people too. Most of us can’t wait to get outside. Everything just “springs” to life.

Photo provided by SHANNON VENEGAS

Photo provided by SHANNON VENEGAS

My brother was in town a week later for job interviews because he was moving from Florida back to Wisconsin. He lived in Florida five years after getting his physician’s assistant license, but he just could not stay away from Wisconsin any longer. He missed the seasons, the hunting … the woods! He was so excited when he went for a job interview near Rice Lake and found snow still on the ground.

With all of these observations, I’ve realized that’s what so great about Wisconsin — the diversity! I love when people snuggle into their homes during a snowstorm, stuck in because of the weather. Then in the spring, everything comes to life. Not just the flowers, but life in general!

I think if Wisconsin was consistent with its weather pattern it would be kind of boring. For example, part of the reason fall is so special is because the colors are only there for a limited amount of time. It is a rare pocket of vibrancy.

Talking with my brother, I realized that some people really can live anywhere, no matter the weather. But with others, where they grew up is too much a part of them. It seeps into their soul.

Some days, I love driving down a country road, alternating between grassland, cornfields and woods. With my windows rolled down, a good country song playing and the hope of spring in the air, I would swear my heart actually leaps.

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