Are You A Skier?

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It was a cold, quiet winter morning.

The streets were dark, and a few frosty stars still glittered in the sky as I crunched through the snow on my way to the bus stop. I glanced up from my walking and noticed another fellow bus-patron waiting just outside the booth, checking his watch and shivering. The bus was late.

The two of us just kinda stood there together, breathing out whispy clouds of smoke and listening to the early-morning silence, when my amiable new companion piped up:

“D’you think summer will ever come?!”

Now, I realize the guy was just trying to commiserate with someone about the cold weather, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But y’all already know how I feel about wintertime

“I dunno,” I answered. “Personally, I’m still really enjoying winter.”

My reply kinda took the wind out of his sails. He gave me a shocked look, and then stammered for a bit. I almost wonder if he’d already planned out an entire conversation in his head, because it seemed to take him awhile to re-think and re-formulate his response. When he did finally speak again, he asked if I was a skier — as if that was the only logical reason why anyone would ever actually ENJOY winter.

At that moment, however, the bus pulled around the corner and cut our conversation short.

We both climbed into the bus and sat down on our own separate benches, but as the bus lurched forward and the snowy landscape began passing us by, I started thinking, once again, about how much I love wintertime.

Sure, it can be cold and dark and dreary. The skies are gray. The roads are slick. And this year especially, sickness seems to be a constant visitor at our house. But I still love wintertime.

I love spending the evening in front of the fire, reading “The House at Pooh Corner” or “Little House in the Big Woods” to my munchkin.

I genuinely enjoy taking Ryu for walks in the frigid night air (especially that night when the two of us walked out in the middle of the frozen irrigation pond and lay down, watching the Geminids meteor shower). I tell ya, I just can’t get enough of the cold winter stars!

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Soups, stews, and gumbos just seem to taste better during the winter. And the other day when me and the little monkey got back from “sledding” (i.e. me pulling the sled over the flat, snow-covered road for roughly three and a half miles), our homemade hot chocolate was especially good.

And all in all, it’s just a great time for family-togetherness.

Winter is also my chance to dream, scheme, plot, plan, and tinker. It seems like I’ve always got at least a half dozen little projects going at once, like building a gun cabinet, making additional shelves for the root cellar, or insulating the pump-house.

Winter is a time to repair and maintain. It’s a time to oil boots, clean guns, sharpen knives. Believe me, there’s never a dull moment.

At the end of the day, though, I think Laura Ingalls Wilder said it best:

“The long winter evenings of firelight and music had come again…
“But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.
“She thought to herself, ‘This is now.’
“She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”
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