Don't Let Them Tame You

I had a heckuva time deciding between two themes this time around. Then, inspiration struck. I don’t have to choose. I’ll cover both themes because they do relate to one another. I think you’ll agree.

I am in severe need of some outside time. My blog theme was going to be about “cabin fever”. How dreary. I’m tired of dreary. For many years, I’ve wrestled with an adversary that I wish would just go jump in a lake. Depression. Ugh. It is not like ‘event sadness’. It is just a lack of being “up”, being enthusiastic, being energetic and bubbly. I’m like a flat beer or soda pop :o) I’ve got all the “want to”, but the fizzy doesn’t froth over the top the mug. All I want to do is go OUTSIDE. Therein is my cure … sunshine and birdsong and green and moving about freely in temps that are user friendly. In the winter, the expression of this gal’s face mirrors my own. Well, kinda. Add 30 years ;o) She looks a little melancholy.

This is how I want to feel:

All the above brings me to this point and theme: MaryJane uses the phrase “Get Out” when referring to being outside – whether you’re working or playing outdoors. Just – Get – Out. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!! Preach it, sister!! Being outside in the sunshine is, in my opinion, one of the things that makes a human a happier human. Sure is true in my case!

I was reading an article recently about a modern day trend, a troubling one. Children are being cheated out of one of the most necessary nutrients they/we need: Vitamin O … vitamin OUTSIDE. It is commonly referred to as Nature Deficit Disorder. There are several books on the topic and it was of particular interest to me on that day because I was personally relating to it [of late].

Children don’t know what they’re missing if they’re not exposed to the millions of joys and discoveries OUT THERE. They need us to lead them to the magical world of Nature. Without the outdoors in their lives, they will never be who they really are. They really do need fresh air stimulation so that they can grow and thrive. We’re not as far removed from plant life as we might think.

Notice the very first words, the first directive in the message of this antique postcard …

Sunshine, I tell you. Sunshine. Sunshine. Sunshine.

I know I’m not alone. “Cabin Fever” is epidemic this time of year. This is the “tween time” – a phase between winter and spring. I could and maybe should say something nicer about it, but I think instead that I’ll tell the PC police to take a hike. Yea, thats right. People that grump about dumb things [like being PC to the enth degree] need to take a hike … a real hike with a sleeping bag and fishing pole. I think maybe our society as a whole is suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder. We’re easily grumped. All talk about going green. We talk about it, but then we fail to really GO THERE as in literally getting out and BEING green. Ok, well, I ought’a loosen my grip on the ‘we’ part. Many folks do feel and recognize the need to be spend a goodly amount of time outside to re-energize their spirit.

MaryJane is doing her part [and her best] to spread the “Get Out” love around. She promotes the great outdoors in so many ways … in our love of home and the farmy homefront. She also takes us as far out into the wilderness as we’re able and willing to venture. She takes us out in our glampers and in our hiking gear. She brings the outside inside and encourages our inner wild to play again, explore again, wonder again. The message in all of it is mirrored in what Isadora Duncan once said, “Don’t let them tame you.”

Similarly, captivity is the bane of a horse’s existence. By and large, most have an “inside” way of life even though they live outside. Capice? That statement is a quote from our veterinarian and he’s so right. Most horses are “cursed” to live out their lives as beloved prisoners. Much loved, yes, but most never know the joy of living as they were designed to … running and running and getting tired of running long before they ever see a fence. Captivity is the root cause of most equine illnesses – physical and mental. Kind of makes you wonder, does it not? Too much inside and not enough of the great outside. “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man”, so said Winston Churchill. What then is good for the inside of a horse? OUTSIDE … really outside, in a pasture with the natural world under his hooves 24/7. But, they don’t live in an ideal world any more than we do. However, we can help them like we help ourselves. We can make every effort to insure that they get as much vitamin O as possible. In so doing, we benefit. There is the real magic in Mr. Churchill’s famous quote. A horse outside with the wind in his face and moving over the ground is what a horse is meant to be. If we join him there, we are three feet closer to Heaven.

What is true for horses is equally true for “man’s best friend”. One of the more popular shows on TV involves a canine trainer/guru that helps people manage their dogs. Dogs need counseling nowadays? And, we need counseling so that we know how to manage our dog? Now, the good thing is that helping folks in this regard has to mean that fewer dogs end up in shelters. But, is this just another sign that we don’t get out and about enough? Too much IN time makes ANY being begin to show signs of what we are missing. There is no substitute for quality time spent with your family outside the home and truly OUTside is even better … away from home … a real outing, even if it just to a nearby park. I include our animal family members in this.

Being outside as much as possible is the cure for many ills. The more you get, the more you want. The more of it you have in your life, the better your attitude and perspective is … about everything.

Folks see the need for children to spend time outside … or they used to anyway. My grandad would shoo us out the door and say, “Go outside and blow the stink off!” He was right. Being outside does cleanse us … our inner selves.

Confession: The other night I watched a movie I have not seen in many many years. What a delightful treat! BAMBI. Seeing it as an adult was just as wonderous, but I have much more appreciation for the artisitic skill than I ever could have perceived as a child. Those old Disney movies were animated ART. Truly. I ohhed and ahhed just as I did as a child. I smiled in all the same places. My love of Nature and being outside got a little jumpstart. My spirit needed a lift and Thumper made me giggle out loud. My inner child, my inner wild was loosed for a couple of hours. Then, because I enjoyed Bambi so much, I watched Summer Magic, another Disney classic. Do you remember Burl Ives singing The Ugly Bug Ball in the film?? Pure bliss. I had my outdoor fix and went to bed a happy little girl … dreaming of springtime and pansies and sunflowers and bluebirds and ladybugs.

Then, it snowed. I mean it snowed like it really meant to. We have had so little moisture this past year. I am tired of winter, true, but drought is far worse a problem than my mood of late. What we recieved was a million dollar snow squall. Eight inches of snow in a couple of hours. Snow fell in fluffy clumps the size of cotton balls. It was beautiful. All the more so because it is SPRING snow. It melted the following day. Only spring snow does that in our part of the world. This is “tween time” that place in time when the weather is undecided.

Tulips and potted Hyacinth have beeing doing their best to keep my spirit encouraged.

How about you? Do you get the “winter wilties”? Maybe you’re a winter lover and get out anyway. I admit that I’m not. Me & my cats look at the wintery world and think, “Welllllll, we should go out for a walk in the fresh air” … and it kinda sounds good right up until we open the door and feel a frigid blast of wind. So, several months of that is why I’m in need of putting some mileage on my exercycle. If I don’t, I’m going to be one achey-breaky cowgirl when we have to start riding everyday beginning next month when we start to calve.

My friend and I stopped at the greenhouse yesterday. Pansies weren’t in yet, but they’re supposed to be here SOON! In the meantime, I can think about gardening plans on my exer-bike and get in shape for spring riding. I gotta get my inner wild child in shape. This too: my fellow farmgirls have grand glamping plans in the works. And, I have a young filly to start and a young mare that needs a lot of miles. Soon, I’ll have to trade in my house shoes for boots. Back to cowgirl mode and I soooo need this view again: the view from my saddle … two foxy ears to look through, fresh air in my face, sun on my shoulders, the crisp fragrance of sage on the breeze. Ohhh Lord, bring it!

Where is your springtime “happy place”?

There are several happy harbingers in around my life to assure me that Spring is ‘on the come’. I saw the first Bluebird yesterday. My chicks will hopefully hatch so that I can take a basket of them to my mother for her to play with. I’m making my folks an Easter basket … complete with live peeps! With that thought, I want to wish you a happy Easter. The promise of this most meaningful of holidays should lift the spirits of all mankind and prompt us to sing the old-time hymn, “I got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” My fondest wish is that you DO got it! ~ Shery

  1. bonnie ellis says:

    Shery: That "tween" time as you say does get stuck in our craw. Especially if you’re from a northern climate where winter sticks its icy tongue on the pump and won’t let go. Your pictures are always wonderful and Spring WILL come. Hang in there girl.

  2. Cathy says:

    I must admit my springtime happy place has always been Winnie the Pooh and all of the woodland creatures. Their free and easy lifestyle soooo makes me wish I lived there among them! I hope spring comes soon, too, as I resemble that lady you posted on this blog as well. Hang in there…it’s only for a short time now 🙂

  3. April says:

    Thank you for this post! Beautiful words and inspiring pictures. You are delightful! Put on your sunglasses, gear up in your coveralls and head out for a tromp outside. It does a girl wonders…even in the snow! Have a wonderful day!


  4. I hear ya Sister! I’m in OK so we are ahead of you in the season, but it has still been a bit dreary with clouds and cold temps. I did see my first forsythia yesterday, and the daffodils are out. It won’t be long. Good luck with your pony!

  5. noreen says:

    I enjoy your writings very much-but the photographs and images are most appreciated- isadora duncan? so very special! outdoors rocks!

  6. Rosanne Brown says:

    Shery, I feel for you as far as the SAD, but you also have had
    loss recently…but brighter days are on their way!
    Anyone else who suffers from depression, please ask your MD to have your vitamin D level checked. Too many pills get prescribed, and all one might need is nutrition!
    Hope you are feeling up to par real soon !

  7. noreen says:

    my comment above is incorrect-mine is the one which mentions isadora duncan

  8. Katie says:

    Happy thoughts to you inspiring Lady. You should plan a glamping vacation to the North Coast of California. Our winter lasts about a month (the down to this, is you never get to go down). Even the rainy days are gorgeous with blue skies that cloud over, lovely sunsets. I always think we get out best weather when the tourists go home.

    We’ve got a spot here that would always welcome fellow glampers.

  9. Meredith says:

    I am right there with you Sheri. Here in Va. We should be well into the beginning of spring. Our willow trees have baby leaves and the redbud are working really hard to get ready for their show. The weatherman is telling us we are having more snow this Sunday. Aaarrrggghhh! Keep dreaming about your new babies and getting out to train and ride them soon! It IS going to get warm!

  10. Anna-Marie Sibon says:

    I first want to say, I always enjoy your pictures, whether vintage or photos. We’re experiencing tween-time right now in North-western Washington. One minutes it’s snowing, the next it’s sunny with blue skies, that hale and than who knows what. In the lowlands, we had no snow all winter and here on Whidbey Island, it was even mild, sad for me because I love snow. But now the weather doesn’t know how to make up it’s mind. I love snow and clear freezing days, but when it’s time for spring and summer, I want it to come right a way!!

  11. Joan says:

    Shery, as I read your wonderful message and am now writing this, it is snowy, WINDY, COLD. Yes the calendar shows it is Spring but I have come to realize what Spring can be – some of best moisture to get things growing. Oh how I wanted, this week, to be out tilling, prepping for some planting – well God had some of this wonderful moisture stored up for us so it is inside I will stay, working on quilts and while doing that I am dreaming of the Vitamin O to get started soon. God Bless and Happy Easter.

  12. Terry says:

    Can you imagine, I got a job managing a garden Center!! Now I look out of my greenhouse windows and watch it snow!!

  13. maureen says:


    I tried to rush spring by going south for a few days. Took in a couple of baseball games and visited with my sister. The desert was beautiful, all green and in bloom. Came home to a 60 degree temperature change and then a huge snow storm, which we desperately need. My just budding rose bushes were just as shocked as I was. All in good time! I’m making a quilt with flowers on it, so that will have to be my "gardening in front of the fireplace" for now.

    Many blessings and smiles.

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