I suspect that unless you are passionately into winter sports, you've seen enough of this winter. The sub-zero temperatures, snow days for schools, icy and rutted streets. It's beautiful, to be sure. It is far too cold to turn into charcoal gray slush. But it's still too much. And for whatever reason, I can't stop talking about it. It's like the physical energy of talking about it will make me warmer and remind me it's not as bad as it could be. Is it? (Right -- I don't live in Boston!)
We were tougher when we were kids, I think. Snow days were rare -- in fact, I'm really trying to remember any prior to a big blizzard when I was in junior high school. We walked to school, bundled up like Ralphie's brother in "A Christmas Story," wearing thick snow suits, big mittens attached to our sleeves with clips, ear muffs or warm hoods.
We dressed to go to school, undressed when we arrived and put on the gear again for morning recess, the walk home to lunch (and back), afternoon recess and home at 3:30 in the afternoon. After a quick warm-up, we'd be back in the snow again, building snow forts or snow folk, having snowball fights (not my favorite sport) or sledding down our favorite hill.
We were tougher then. We actually liked it.
As I look through my old photos, it seems to me as though there is plenty of snow -- those drifts are tall ones. And while it's fanciful to believe it wasn't as cold back then (and I'm pretty sure the weather records would verify that), it was still pretty darned cold. And yet, there are smiles.
And there was a freedom, the freedom of being a kid. The freedom of play.
Somewhere along the way, that changed for me. I hesitate to take walks, knowing that underneath the layer of snow is a layer of ice, lying in wait. These knees can't take another hit without some very expensive and painful consequences. The already fragile and damaged lungs can't handle breathing in that frigid air without going into a coughing fit. And to be perfectly honest, I just get cold -- and I don't like it.
Yes, we were tougher then. Those of us living in the cold part of the world -- we're tired. Tired of winter, tired of higher utility bills, tired of listening to the radio for snow day closings and grumbling "They never did that when we were in school." "Let the sunshine in." And please, while the sun is shining, any chance we can get above freezing?
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