Our Rural Roots

Let's Clear the Air

(Progressive Farmer image by Getty Images)

According to my grandma June, the cure for boredom, an upset stomach, or a poor attitude was a bit of fresh air.

We grandkids kept complaining to a minimum around her. One groan got us sent outside, usually with a brown paper grocery sack and the mission to pick up sticks. Grandma used those stick-stuffed sacks as kindling in her massive stone fireplace.

Fresh air was the solution regardless of the season. In the winter, Grandma, dressed and ready to cross-country ski, would wait for us to get off the school bus. We'd scurry through chores and spend the waning hour of daylight sliding through fresh snow.

Looking back on 2020, a bit of fresh air has saved the day on more than one occasion. Not only did the majority of our family dinners and celebrations move outside, but daily walks around the farm served to clear a foggy mind or raise a drooping attitude.

As winter set in, I resolved to keep our daily dose of fresh air a top priority. Bundled in overalls and winter coats with scarves wrapped tight around our faces and stocking caps pulled low, we've spent extra time in the barn.

With heads bent into winter winds, we do laps around the farmyard. Five laps equal one mile.

One mile in boots and deep snow makes for great exercise. Some days, we give ourselves quite the pep talk to leave the warmth of the hearth and go out to face the elements. But, that bit of fresh air never fails to power us through another day.

Whether it be a pandemic, a life-altering diagnosis, a bad day or an amazing accomplishment, the gift of getting outside seems a fitting solution, whether we are looking for a cure or a celebration. Winter weather is no excuse -- just add another layer and let's keep moving forward!

> Katie Pratt writes, tweets, farms and cares for critters from north-central Illinois. Find her blog at theillinoisfarmgirl.com, and follow her on Twitter @KatiePratt4.


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