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Ronda Graff

Community Connections

News and views from the McCook Community Foundation Fund

Opinion

Even with the weather, don't wait for perfection

Thursday, February 4, 2021

With school canceled and the snow piling up last week, my kids threw a half-dozen sleds into the back of our pickup truck. The sleds clattered as they landed on top of the ice skates, cross-country skis and snow-shoes already resting in the truck bed.

Yes, I travel with that many toys during the winter because you just never know when an opportunity may present itself such as a frozen pond, XC tracks already carved into the snow or fresh powder that must be traversed.

After grabbing their friends, we headed to McCookís traditional sledding hill at Kelley Park. There were already a dozen kids on the hill - slipping, sliding and literally just falling down the hill.

There were debates about who would sit in front on the sled or which type of sled was best suited for the conditions. But more than anything, there was laughter and squeals of glee filling the air.

Aside from a dad snapping a picture on his phone, there wasnít an electronic or a digital screen to be found. Instead, the kids were enjoying what was naturally provided to them. They were enjoying where they were planted. They were enjoying the opportunity. In their eyes, this was perfection: no school, outside playing with friends, perfect snowy conditions which seem to be hit-and-miss in our area.

Yet, many of us find it easy to lament our cold, snowy weather, staying inside while we await ideal spring conditions. It is popular to count down the days until summer arrives and the summer sun warms the air.

There are those who wistfully wish to sit on a beach for days on end. But letís not forget about those little annoyances like the sand which gets in each and every crevice and the scorching temperatures during the summer. Meanwhile, we have access to beaches and lakes, just on a smaller scale but yet just minutes away which can be enjoyed year-round.

There are those who dream of weeks in the mountains - myself included. But letís not forget about those little annoyances like traffic jams, higher costs of living and letís not forget about avalanches. Instead, we create our own fun but taking up cross-country skiing, going for a walk in the snow and appreciating - rather than cursing -- the seasons we are blessed with.

Just because we may not think itís perfect outside, it doesnít mean that you shouldnít get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Actually, it seems that less than ideal locations spend more time outside. You will see people huddling around heat-lamps and enjoying each otherís company or bundled up from head to toe and savoring a mug of coffee.

We need to learn to embrace what some may consider less-than-perfect conditions, but what makes others of us so giddy that we jokingly worry about our safety.

And letís remember, there is nothing we can really do about the weather. And if we did, what would all the farmers and coffee clubs talk about, much less alleviating those awkward silences with a stranger in the elevator? So like everything in life, we canít wait for perfect; we must embrace what we already have.

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On a personal note, I would like to thank all of those living along the Kelley Creek walking trail who ignore my cross country friends, Candy and Travi, and myself as we slowly slog along on our skis, as well as those who come out on their back porch and cheer us on, especially Don Harpst.

And speaking of the walking trail, this is a perfect example of people taking advantage of our assets and which has the potential to be even greater.

The city of McCook did a great job of getting the trail plowed within a day of our recent snowstorm, making it accessible for all.

If and when we expand the trail system in McCook, we will be on our way to making McCook an even better place to call home.

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