For the very first time ever, I went to the pond by myself on a weekend. The kids were too tired to join me and, frankly, I didn't twist their arms. I try so hard to spend my weekends with my kids, but I needed a bit of time to myself. So I strapped on the snow shoes and headed down to the wildlife area alone.
As I snow shoed over the tops of the 5 foot high cattails I saw the remains of our snowmen from the trip there a few weeks ago. They were melted and the drifts had formed around them, scouring the ice bare.
There is something thrilling about finding the signs of people who passed this way before us. I remember the first time I came upon a rock stile in the wilderness, you know those stacks of rocks that mark a trail. I thought I had come upon an altar of some kind- a holy place. And maybe it was.
Those historic remains are all around us here in Big Stone County-- so many farmsteads that were once small, diversified farms. There are still standing windmills, barns, chicken coops, well hand pumps, wooden granaries and outhouses. To me, it is a comfort to see these sites on the land. Like those rock stiles that mark a way that someone went before me.
And there were our snowmen like yet another a historic relic on the prairie. A happy reminder of good times past.