Winter is in the eye of the beholder. When I was a kid, winter was full of joy. Have you ever experienced the delicious crunch of snow under your feet in zero temps? I’ve wondered what southern-born children ever got out of winter. Cold and wet can be endured, but what’s to DO?
For us Northies, cold gave us ice for skating, though we often came close to frostbite. And SNOW. Ahh! Sledding. Johnson’s Hill, sometime crossing Wantage Avenue, hoping no cars were coming. Or DLB’s Hill. One icy afternoon, I hit a water bar that flipped me off course and into a tree. Not head on, or that would’ve been the end of the story. Skiing. A single-strap binder. Never quite mastered staying upright, though I still occasionally dream I can really ski.
Snow caves were an art in themselves. Plow piles were the obvious place to start, but one time, I made my own little pile, dug out snow, put it on top, and kept doing that till it was quite a respectable structure. Snow men, of course, and even a snow horse.
What did they do for winter fun in the South?
Winter today is a different matter. Snow to be shoveled, blown, plowed. All that oil or gas going up the chimney. Watch your footing; don’t fall. No safe place to walk for exercise. Plus, the older we get, the tougher winters become.
It follows that getting older is metaphorical winter—the energy of spring and summer mostly gone, and keeping warm an ongoing problem. As the season of winter brings death to flowers, leaves, grass, so our human season inevitably ends in death. But as spring follows winter, so new life follows for those who have sown the seeds of eternal life. We sometimes fantasize about heaven, but trust me—it’s not sitting on a cloud strumming a harp. It’s not living in a rent-free mansion. It’s not even hanging out with the old crowd. Way too tame. Heaven is LIFE inconceivable, being known and loved and forever warmed by the fires of grace.
Winter coming for you, for me? Bring it on!
Click on photos to enlarge
You can have your ice and cold and snowy stuff. I prefer the 3′ high red crowned cranes strutting around like they own the place, the skinny squirrels trying desperately to climb up the greased pole leading to the squirrel-proof feeder, finally wising up to the futility of the challenge, then clinging, upside down, to the screens with tails that look like a thin strand of spaghetti, the alligators trying so hard to grab hold of a turkey walking by the lake, the cavalcade of gospel music at local concerts by artists who prefer to perform in the South during the winter. I could go on and on but I think you see my point.
Betty, your blood is turning to water, and your eyes are totally scrambled. Time you headed back north! Our Rumney cottage, by the way, had disaster strike this past week. Furnace quit but not before it blew soot over EVERYTHING. Only one pipe froze–at least the first time, before the “fixed” furnace blew again, adding to the soot layer. See what you’re missing? : )