Seasons of My Childhood:Winter
by Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
Saturday, October 26, 2002
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Shocking reality of severe Northern season, soul-piercing coldness, grey shades of lowering clouds, never-ending weeks of hearth fires, snow shovels and salt, red-cheeks and steaming heaps of peeled-off clothes, piles and globs of nature’s chilly offering, melting in warmth and companionable comfort.
Days of wind-whipped drifts stopping school buses and classes, gas smell of snowmobiles, prowling and growling down the alley to the access of fairway’s speed-thrill lengths, single light weaving and bobbing, flashing light wildly into the snow-hilled yard, gleams and sparkles and cold night air radiate, then dim.
Achingly beautiful vision of points of color and jolly lightpost decorations, glossed and glowing with crystalline layers of frozen lace, Christmas days overflow with songs and sights and new traditions, Cold Duck, eggnog and voluminous good cheer. Ice-rinked streets and walks, slipping and sliding unalert revelers into the chill-wide arms of waiting, piled snow.
Numb, icy toes when school buses are tardy, billowing puffs of vapor arise from huddled, shivering children, blowing onto frozen, mittened fingers, stomping woodeny feet, lost feel of heat’s hue, prickling wickedly and electrically and painfully when wealth of living warmth returns, inner core revived and recovering from ice-shock.
The long length of scarves, parkas, gloves, bulkiness attired against frost-nip, blinding sun-cold days, walking with crunchy, crackley, squeaky snow underfoot, shifting balance of numbed frames of flesh and bone, falling to make earth-bound angels of patterned snow.
Hushness of fat, falling flakes, upturned faces covered with bits of melting snow, eyes befuddled, enveloping and muffling, trees seen in fogginess of shadow-land, mottled and dim, resounding silence, chickadees abed in the gloom of the illuminescent day.
Driving, slithery buzz of sleeting pellets, needling with stinging fury, sometimes uniting with rain, freezing and hard, car windows sheathed in an invisible yet perceivable armor, power wires hanging heavily, trees and shrubs in an ice-locked paralysis, creaking with echoing agony as tips and limbs crack, then break away.
Miraculous fairy ice castle appears, frozen rain and great, pine’s arms, sealed to the diamond floors of it’s chilly great hall, arcs and bridges of ice-smooth, coated limbs, awaiting a child’s awed gaze and sun’s touch to flare with a million points of color, dazzle and flash and, dreams soaring.
The trek to the river, down the snowy field, cross the tracks, cat’s pawprints are sought, followed, a way under the mill, over the road and onto the clear, bubbled ice to spy on wavery fish, finning below in liquid as cold as space, yet, mysteriously, alive.
Snow forts and snow bowls, lovingly carved from wonderful, piled tailings of snow plows, grabbed handfuls of snowy balls, hitting true or dissolving in flight, laughs and yells, toboggans flying down the short hill and, smack, into the ditch, gasping and groans, pile unwinding to trudge back up, boot-skiing along sidewalks and roads.
Whiteness and metallic flash of skates, tied and thumpingly swinging from shoulders, outdoor rink with bird-children, flying and gliding with wind-rushed cheeks, sparkle of eyes and rosy nose, soggy mittens and central iceshack heat, mug of hot cocoa held, steaminess rising, and laughter.
A wondrous, cruel experience to soft, newly-arrived West Coast kids, to be repeated season after season, in all aspects and depths, exotic variations of wind-sculptured drifts, streaming sands of snow across the roads, twisting, twining, ever-moving, bitter, lung-searing cold, Wisconsin winters.
Erin E. Moen
As an adult, I prefer Arizona's warmer winters! :) Sure was fun to be a kid in winter, though...
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|Reviewed by Ed Matlack
|I remember winter too, though surely NOT as violently cold as they were in Wisconsin...hell we used to surf in winters storms, but of course we wore wet suits...e|
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|ahhh..you described ohio's winters perfectly! they were magical for me, even the blizzard we had in 1978!! SO FUN, rollicking in the snow!! thanks for the memories!! love, your friend, karen lynn. ((((HUGS)))) :)|
|Reviewed by na na (Reader)
|Did you love it! Those seasons of youth?