by Paula Johanson
Attention, family. There are a few Rules for Winter Life on the Farm which need to be enforced. These rules are in addition to the Big All-Time Most Important Rule which we each already broke once and will never break again. Number One: If you go outdoors in winter without wearing a coat and toque, you had better tattoo on your forehead “I ignore my mother’s advice.” Number Two: If you go outdoors at -10 or lower without wearing snowpants, scarf and mittens as well, winter will bite you for certain and mother just might. Number Three: Dry out your snowboots whenever you take them off or you will be wearing boot-shaped icicles next time. Fun for tap-dancing, but not very warm. Number Four: If mom and dad aren’t home when you get off the school bus, stay indoors. We’ll be home soon, driving carefully on slippery roads. Yes, you may watch TV and eat all the snack food you can find. Yes, you may gloat about getting home first. Number Five: There are alarm clocks in every bedroom. Crying or yelling at me when I knock on your door will not make the morning sunshiny and bright. Be warned! Grumpy risers will be met with a rousing chorus of “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows.” Number Six: Sweaters and slippers are cheaper than turning up the heat. Plus, they are more ecologically conscious. I can show you a dandy monk’s robe, if you like. Number Seven: When the cat isn’t sure it wants to go outside, do not stand in the open doorway trying to convince it to make up its feline mind. Pitch it outside or bring it indoors. Number Eight: If we pitch the cat outside at -30 when the snow has drifted over her hidey-hole under the house, we will have a cat-sicle in about an hour. Number Nine: Loud music is welcome at intervals during the day, particularly anything with the lyrics “Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun.” Singing along is encouraged, dancing is optional. Number Ten: Grumpy parents are role models for Courtesy and Positive Attitudes. So Thank You to everyone who makes me tea and does other thoughtful things. You make home a nice place to live! And the Big All-Time Most Important Rule which we each already broke once and will never break again: Don’t Lick Cold Metal!