Lessons Learned: Winter Now & Then

I had to laugh on Sunday morning when I found a snippet that I wrote a few years ago on wintertime. I wrote how I used to love wearing socks outside in the snow without shoes. I liked the feel of the sponginess as I walked. During middle school (Junior High) I would walk the half mile to the bus stop without a hat because I didn’t want to mess up my hair. I wore platform shoes and skirts without thinking about the cold or ice. My neighbor, who walked with me, wouldn’t wear a hat either. He would leave his house with wet hair. His hair turned to frost by the time we got to the bus stop. Out snowmobiling, we (the girls) would have to take off our one-piece snowmobile suit to go to the bathroom in the woods. On one day when the wind chill was minus 100 degrees (Fahrenheit), a friend put burning coals under his car to warm the engine so he could get out of the house and see friends. I’m not saying that was a brilliant idea on his part, but he wasn’t going to let winter get the best of him.

I would say that I had the same attitude. Even when I froze my bare skin, I wouldn’t think twice about it. I remember how my ears, fingers, toes, and thighs would burn from the cold. I’d sit by the radiator to try and warm up. My limbs would ache as they came back to life. And then I’d do it again, without thinking of the effects or how I could prevent it. Winter was winter.

Now, I’ll still go outside without proper shoes, but only to get the mail. However, I do have my fur-lined boots to keep my feet warm. I will not wear high heels in the snow or on ice. I’m still not keen on hats, but I will wear earmuffs and a scarf. If it’s really cold, I will wear the hood on my coat. I am happy now to have a car with all-wheel drive tucked into a garage at home. I like the comfort of getting in the car without scraping a thick layer of ice off my windshield or having to pray that I’d make it up the hill as the back tires are spinning and going nowhere. And if needed, I’m okay with changing plans until the temperature rises above zero. I’m not a snowbird yet, but I keep thinking about warm days with plenty of sunshine.

After reading my snippet, I realized how I can’t forget the fun to be had in the winter months. Experiencing the cold can be invigorating and enjoyable. There’s nothing like putting your face up to the sky and letting the tiny ice pellets stick to your skin or to feel the breeze as you tube or ski down a hill. My husband wants to go out and create snow angels. I think I’m gonna have to do that. Winter is winter.

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