Winter, winter go away, come back some other day


Winter wind, howling in the depths of December prompts us to wish to retreat to the easy chair beside the fireplace, a cup of something warm and steaming nestled in our chilly hands.
It is a wonderful excuse to get cozy with a blanket and a good book, and it feels delightful.
By March, I am just plain sick and tired of it.
Worst in memory. The snow just keeps coming, in what seems to have been one of the longest and hardest winters in my memory. This winter we have endured damaging ice storms, wicked blasts of snow, power outages, white-out driving conditions, long stretches of horribly low temperatures.
Enough already!
I know that it doesn’t pay to complain, and moaning about it does nothing to change it. As an adult, I have always tried to view winter as the chance to accomplish some indoor tasks, because when the warm weather finally arrives, I spend every free minute enjoying the great outdoors.
Being inside when the sun is shining feels like punishment to me. So, why is it that this particular winter feels like an endless prison sentence?
Started early, lasting long. The simplistic answer is that it started early and is lasting way too late, but that goes without saying. What I think it tells me is that I am getting old.
Remember the joy of watching the big snowfall of the season when we were all young and wonderfully enchanted by it all?
We had the most amazing sled riding hill, and we were equipped with speedy sleds and the most incredibly sturdy snow saucer that made a kid believe in free flight.
We were blessed with cousins and neighbor kids who added to our fun, and snow days felt like the best holidays imaginable. We had a special cubby hole under the basement steps in which we stored our ice skates, and I recall the winter that my favorite pair no longer fit.
Next size up. How in the world could I pretend to be Peggy Fleming on the old iced-over hog wallow without my favorite skates? I was forced to wear about four pair of socks in order to fit in to the next larger size, and my grace was gone in the process.
Never mind that we were dressed in crusty coveralls and heavy winter coats; I had a vivid imagination and the steely determination to view myself as a preening ice queen in fancy chiffon. And, thankfully, there were no mirrors around our ice rink to prove otherwise!
I remember my sister, Debi, and I spending at least an hour just preparing the ice, as the heavy snow made it impossible to navigate on skates. We trampled our way to the ice, wearing our heavy barn boots, carrying shovels which we used to clear figure 8’s and other fancy designs on the ice.
If we were going to do it, we should make it look like something impressive, my design-minded sister convinced me.
Getting ready. Then we traipsed our way back to the house to warm up our frozen toes and noses, hunting up our ice skates and extra layers of clothing to suit the frigid temperatures.
By the time we took to the ice in our skates, we were about worn to a frazzle, but we still had loads of fun. Winter could last as long as it wanted to, because summer would bring lots more work than fun for us in the form of hay-making and fence fixing.
Longing for spring. Now, in my wise old age, by mid-March I am looking for balmy breezes and sunshine in the worst way!


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.