Clare County Review & Marion Press

Pat’s Bits & Pieces: Winter bits and snowflakes

After a much milder than usual December, It looks like Old Man Winter is now here to stay.
Except for a couple of days when the mercury oozed up into the 30s, It has been COLD and WINDY out there. Of course, down here at our new place, it always seems to be windy. Jack calls it living in “Chicago.”
Our brief “January thaw” (one day this week) seems to be over now. Temperatures have dropped back to the 20s and more snow and single digit temperatures are predicted again for the weekend.
I actually like snow (when I am inside anyway). It’s pretty. I just wish it wouldn’t fall on the roads…
With the month almost half over already (tomorrow is the 15th folks), I have decided that we only have about three and a half more months of winter left.
Sounds like I am complaining, doesn’t it? Oh, I know, we didn’t even get any snow accumulation until after Christmas, and it was pretty warm all through fall, but my feet are cold!
One year, Jack got me a down jacket for Christmas. He did really well! I can’t think of anything better, but of course it’s long gone now – no idea where but I do have a really puffy coat stored out in the garage coat closet. The granddaughters used to tell me it was my “marshmallow man coat,” so, vain person that I am, I don’t wear it much anymore.
I just am really not much of a winter person – if it didn’t look silly, I would wear down snow pants to work too. Luckily every day except Thursday going to work involves walking down the hall to my office/second bedroom/sewing room/pantry. I should just call it the multi-purpose room.
Kids love winter. Our grandchildren could hardly wait to get out there in the snow! They loved skating and sledding and making angels in the snow. Oh how I miss those days. Now even the youngest two are all grown up and working on starting their own careers. The rest of the “clan” are busy building their families and we just learned we are going to be great-grandparents for the eighth time next summer, so now I can enjoy watching the fourth generation enjoy playing in the snow when they are around.
Seems like I liked winter a lot more too when I was a kid. I remember I had hand-me-down skis, ice skates, a couple of sleds and even snowshoes to experiment with. I never could quite get the hang of using those things though.
I remember lots of snow up around Roscommon, so deep some years that my Dad would shovel paths for me and cover them with scrap lumber to make a really neat snow fort.
It seemed like there was always lots of fun to be had. I would stay outside playing and making snow angels until my cheeks were red as apples, and when I would finally have to come in, my hands would be so cold I could hardly feel them.
I was always covered in snow. I remember Mom would have to use an old broom to sweep me down before I was finally allowed back in the house.
Saturdays, when Mom had to work, I would almost always ride into town with her and spend the day at the skating rink.
My brother introduced me to skiing at around five years old. As a teenager, I even worked at a private club with its own ski hill. What fun that was!
And, at least once every winter, our church group would go tobogganing down the biggest hill I’ve ever seen, winding up a long day of fun drinking hot chocolate and eating sandwiches in someone’s kitchen with the snow melting off our clothes and boots and making puddles on their floor.
When I was pretty little, I remember snow about knee deep to a grown up with a crust thick enough for me to walk on top. What an adventure that was.
I don’t remember counting the days until spring.
Maybe the winters were more fun back then – or maybe we just made them more fun out of the winters…

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