Winter of Childish Delight

| 12/18/2008 10:51:23 AM

Tags: winter, snow, jack wax,


WINTER! This week we received a four-inch snowfall that turned our earth-toned, monochromatic landscape into a bright sparkling tapestry.

I would say that winter is my favorite season, but the truth is that when the seasons change, at that moment that season is my favorite. I love the energizing effect the seasonal changes have on my psyche. You should know that I grew up in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Ontario where snowfalls of three to four feet were routine – and the winter blizzard of 1966 piled 108 inches of snow on Oswego County.

My winter memories are of incredible igloo-like snow forts made in the huge piles of snow next to the curb, staying outdoors until my whole body was tingling with cold, hot chocolate and jack wax. Our family had a little cabin seven miles east of town on the lakeshore. In the winter, we would walk in from the county road pulling lunch and my little brother on the toboggan. Dad would stoke up a fire in the woodstove and then we'd all go check out the nature-made ice sculptures on the rocky shore. After that it was lunch time – always the very same menu: Lipton’s chicken and rice soup, apple sauce, grilled cheese sandwiches and hot chocolate.

I loved walking in snow-covered fields looking for the little bumped up trails under the snow where a mouse had traveled or see the whispy designs made by dried grasses as they were buffeted by the north winds. And of course making snow angels was a favorite not just of mine but of all youngsters (and a few not so young).

So during this week's snowfall, I was here at my desk watching the show outside through a window 20 feet from my desk. But finally at 5, I was turned loose to go home and shovel the sidewalk and relish the cold, sparkling winter air. There were no mouse tunnels, but I could see the dainty tracks a wild kitty made along the edges of the garden. Many neighbors were out shoveling their sidewalks and driveways – a mini block party in the dark. The first snow is always the best – there are no dirty snow piles by the curb or ruts of slush in the streets – just a carpet of sparkling whiteness, illuminating the night. Before going in for the evening, I flopped down on a clear space and made the first snow angel of the year – ahhhhhh, winter!!

lee reynolds audlin
1/1/2009 3:32:49 PM

As I am grumbling about the snow we have in Oswego County, I am reminded at the complete and utter pleasure it brings to those who no longer live here. Winter IS a beautiful season indeed. The snowfall brings neighbors together and people just seem happier and friendlier as we all try to "dig out". I would miss the season terribly if I were no longer here. Thus, in my heart, I really DO love it!

mrs. kloub
12/29/2008 11:55:35 AM

I absolutely turn into a child the first snowfall, and I am enarly 50. As soon as the weather folks say there is snow coming, I get the x-country skiis down and watch out the window with a HUGE smile. I get literally giddy the first morning and have been known to skip breakfast to get out there on the fresh snow on my skiis. Our 2 yr old golden gets even more excited when she sees the skis out. She knows we are going to have a great day on the trails.

geoffrey taylor
12/27/2008 7:29:23 PM

Shower the people you love with love...

12/27/2008 5:35:46 PM

Winter is an Adventure, we have had 3 weeks of -20 celcius temperatures and almost daily snowfall. However today it is +4 with a wind. The childish delight article brought back memories of winter here in Southern Alberta. The windbreak gets huge weird shaped drifts around it. Perfect for snow forts and tunnels and sliding down them on your behind. My mother would make hot apple cider for us when we came in, tart and revitalizing, it was from crab apples. Ginger bread was also a treat. Thank you for reminding me of the great times of winter. Not the driving to work on horrid roads!

12/23/2008 10:31:05 AM

I love snow! I may be crazy, but I'd rather that it was -25C outside with tons of snow than rainy or slushy. Bundle yourself up, get your blood pumping, and enjoy the great outdoors! Vive l'hiver! Thanks Mother Earth News for the great winter pic.

k. mcglennon
12/23/2008 6:43:15 AM

The first heavey wet snowfall of winter has me outside making a snowman. At 56 I may say it is for the neighbourhood kids to enjoy but really it's for me! Each year I can hardly wait for there to be enough snow on the ground to get out there snowshoeing. I'm Canadian, eh. Love winter!!

caroline halliwill
12/22/2008 8:45:22 PM

Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. We are expecting some new snow tonight. When my 2 year old granddaughter comes over tomorrow, I think I will take a break from my Christmas baking and take her into the front yard and stun the neighbors by making snow angels with her. What fun!

12/22/2008 2:20:38 PM

Thank you for reminding me (at age 63) of something I had long forgotten. I remember doing those things, but I had forgotten how I FELT doing those things. The dogs have had first go at making their snow angels in the yard, but I think this evening I will go up on the hillside where the snow is still unmarked.....

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