Posted tagged ‘snow forts’

“What a severe yet master artist old Winter is…. No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel.

January 17, 2017

We’ve lost the sun. It’s a gray day with no wind. Rain will be here tomorrow. You’ll hear no complaints from me. It isn’t snow.

When I was a kid, I loved winter. I sledded and went ice skating at the town rink and at the swamp. I built snow forts in the tall piles left on the sides of the road by the plows. My friends and I had snowball fights. We’d build a short wall in front of us and across from each other then start making ammo, snowballs. When both sides had enough made, the fight began. I don’t think there was ever a clear winner. We’d finish the day so soaked and frozen that even the shoes inside our boots were filled with snow. My mother would sometimes make us cocoa with Marshmallow Fluff on top. I remember watching the Fluff spread from the heat of the cocoa. When I drank the cocoa, I always had a Fluff mustache.

At some time in my life, winter got boring. I started dreading snow. I hated scraping the ice off my windshield and driving to and from work in the dark. I admit snow is pretty especially right after a heavy snow storm when the tree branches and streets are covered. I do like watching the snow fall. I turn on the backdoor light so I can see the flakes, delicate and lacy. When I was a kid, there was a streetlight right near my house. Even back then I loved watching the flakes under the light.

I never knew the temperature when I was young. In my mind it was winter and winter was supposed to be cold. Now I asked Alexa the day’s weather and watch the news. I want to know what to expect. I’m happy when I hear 44˚ and groan when it is in the 20’s or even lower. I stay inside on the especially cold days.

I don’t think I’ll ever reconcile myself to winter. It had its time when I was young. Now  I accept summer as the season for we who are growing old.

“About the woodlands I will go / To see the cherry hung with snow.”

February 8, 2013

Sorry for the late morning, but I met friends for our monthly breakfast. We worked together for years and are all retired now so this is our way of staying in touch. During breakfast, the snow started. The flakes are small and wet so none are sticking, but that will happen soon enough. I bought seed and suet this morning so I need to fill the feeders as soon as I finish here.

My car is backed into the driveway, the best spot to get it freed after the plowing. I have no reason to leave the house so I’ll hunker down and watch the weather on TV. I got a chuckle yesterday when I read in the paper that a weatherman calls it weather porn when people are mesmerized by the news and pictures of extraordinary weather on TV.

I still get excited when it snows but not the same way I did when I was a kid. In those days a big snow storm meant sledding down the huge hill on which we lived, building snow forts, having snow ball fights and, if we were lucky, a snow day. We’d be up early hoping to hear the fire whistle announce no school, and if it did, we’d cheer and get dressed right away to play in the snow. On went the snow pants, a sweater, the winter coat, a scarf, mittens, a hat and boots.

I remember the first few runs down the hill on my wooden sled after the big storm. The snow ruts from the sled’s runners were red, rusty from the sled sitting in the cellar all summer and fall. After a couple of runs, the rust would disappear, and the sled would go  so much faster. We’d hold the sled with both hands, run for all we were worth and jump on the sled, stomachs down and feet in the air then whiz down the hill. Steering was never easy. The front of the sled turned left or right but not very far. Hitting a snow bank was common. We’d hope to go all the way down the hill into the field at the bottom. That was an accomplishment. We’d grab the sled’s rope, usually icy by then, and walk back up the hill for another run.

The little kids sledded down the hill in the backyard. That way they were off the street and under the watchful eyes of parents.  Most had wooden sleds but a few had metal flying saucers which went wherever as there was no way to control them. You just slid down the hill, sometimes in circles. The little kids always walked back up the hill along the side yards so they wouldn’t wreck the run.

By the time we went in the house through the cellar, ice was stuck to our clothes, mittens were soaked, snow was inside the boots and we were shivering, but I don’t remember being cold. I just remember those runs as the most fun of the whole winter.