Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Love Snow

We woke this morning to a new snowfall. Curious about the snow because it's coating everything and the temperature is only 11 degrees (ABOVE zero, that is, for a change.) When it's this cool, the snow is usually light and fluffy and doesn't stick. Our deep freeze temperatures of all last week started to rise yesterday, and we finally felt like we could go outside without risking damage to body parts.

Snow is still falling. One of those snows that is perfectly silent, falling straight down in a curtain of broken white lace. I love snow.

When I was growing up in Illinois we had a lot of snow in the winter time. The city park had a golf course with a huge hill that provided hours and hours of sledding fun nearly every weekend. (Somehow I can't imagine kids being allowed to go sledding on a golf course proper these days.) It was so popular, not just with kids but for whole families, that sometimes it was difficult to steer a path down the hill on your sled without smashing into another sledder.

Another area of the park boasted an ice skating pond. It was a low area called "The Lagoon" and was probably about two feet deep in the center when flooded early each winter to form the skating pond. It was actually a very large area, and now as I think back, I wonder about the gargantuan amount of water needed to flood that big space. I remember being taken there frequently when I was small by two or three of my unmarried aunts. (Anybody remember those two-runner skates that fastened on to the bottom of your boots? They were sort of like training wheels on bikes . . . used as "learner" skates. I doubt you could do much actual skating on them but at least a little kid could remain upright.) My most vivid recollections of skating in the park come from the time I was a teenager. It was "the" place to go in the winter. Much like what the mall is for teens these days. There was a small warming house, but the bulk of the action for us hormonal teenie-boppers was out on the ice. Talk about frozen fingers and toes . . . and lots of fun and good memories.

Then the weather slipped into another phase in Illinois, and we no longer had cold enough weather for much snow. By the time Roy and I were married, winter meant ice, thawing, slush, ice, freezing rain, ice, and bone-chilling dampness. That was one of the reasons we moved north. We wanted to experience real winters filled with snowfalls and temps low enough to have snow stay on the ground for the winter months.

And that we did have for the first few years we lived up here. Ironically, the same years we were the least prepared. Living in an uninsulated mobile home, having no equipment for snow removal, not having an adequate wood supply . . . ooof! But that passed, and dang and drat, so did the snow. We went into a warming trend where we had very little snowfall for many years. Guess it was a basic drought period because our area suffered from lack of moisture in the summer also.

For the past many years, previous to this glorious winter, we've had about two good snowfalls and that was it. We've joked about having to move north again, possibly up into Canada . . . way up into Canada . . . to have the kind of winter snows we've wanted.

That's why this year has been such a treat for us. Everywhere you go, you hear people saying (and the majority of them sounding darn happy about it), "Well, we're finally getting a real winter this year!" And a really good thing we've had ample snow cover because we've also had the super-frigid temperatures that would have wreaked havoc had we not had the protective insulation.

Snowshoeing, skiing, even just a hike down the driveway and back to get the mail is so invigorating. The exertion of having to get out there and shovel or plow or dig out is enjoyable because of the great exercise it affords someone like me who tends to want to stay inside and quilt or knit or read snuggled on the couch during the non-gardening months of the year. Oh yeah, I do love snow.

1 comment:

RuthieJ said...

I agree with you Mama Pea--this is definitely turning out to be a winter like I remember from the "old days!"