It’s official, at least in my mind. Winter is here once again.
I know, I know. The firm, frozen grasp of the Old Man doesn’t really start until December 22 this season, but for me, the first day of December marks the first day of winter, and man, with all the frigid winds whipping out of the north east, with all the frozen puddles, with all the Canada geese looking over their shoulders as they tuck their tail feathers and trim the winds south, it surely does feel like winter already.
Each year we settle into our frozen solstice with different meanings. Depending what’s going on in our lives, we take on a seasonal glow, a snowy frown, a tempered tolerance for what’s in store, and although some winters it seems like a thousand years go by, before we know it, we’re beating the rugs of spring onto the doorsteps of summer, and once again the bottom corner is rounded and we head for that winter solstice once again.
Last year as we headed into the frosty window panes of winter, there was a lot going on in my life. With my own health issues cropping up, and with my lovely wife’s knee injury, I didn’t even really notice winter that much. There was so much out of the ordinary that I guess I never really paid much thought to the snow shovels, or the dipping thermometers that stared us all in the face. Winter just didn’t seem like winter, and as the holidays passed, The top of the calendar shook its head, folded its arms and smirked at me as it stretched its icicles towards spring.
Oh how I loved the winter time as a child. I lived to love the different things that the snowy season had to offer, and as I have written a few times, some of my fondest memories are piled high with the wintery drifts that captured the imagination of an energetic boy. I can still feel the frozen wind whipping past as I held onto the fastest Speedway sled in the world. Turning the corner to make the ascent down into the gravel pit and onto the ice covered ponds down at the bottom of the bowl was a sight to see. There weren’t many times that these stupendous sledding trips were able to be enjoyed, for the conditions had to be perfect. A freezing rain usually meant melting snow, but it also meant a frozen road leading down into a winter wonderland of fun.
Oh how I miss those days of my youth. Such fun. Such excitable fun, and only a frozen day away.
There were a lot of things I took for granted back then, because it was always there, especially for me. Everywhere I turned there was something that a kid could do, and do what a kid could do I did, until the knees of my already patched jeans were worn clean through. As I sit here and type, I remember the lengthy process of getting appropriately bundled up to go out in the Old Man’s winter playground. There were the long johns, the wool socks, the snowmobile suit, the knitted mittens, the scarf, the wool hat and those wonderful snowmobile boots. I felt a little like Ralphy’s little brother in A Christmas Story, but it didn’t matter, because I was a gladiator heading into battle against any man who tried to keep me from having the time of my life.
Hang on kids. If it’s snow you’re looking for, I’m sure you’ll get your share before Old Man Winter has had his last say. He has a unique way some winters of slowly piling it up until we can barely see out the kitchen window.
There was always something to do when I was a kid, and during the months of winter, there was usually a mile wide smile tailing close behind. I used to love those winters most of all.
As we move our way towards another round of holiday magic, I wish you all the wonderment of a million miles of lasting memories.
Thanks for stopping by, and while you’re at it, go grab yourself some.