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Old Man Winter, please come swiftly, bringing your wares

Winter, please send all the snow you can so everyone on Facebook and off will lose their minds. I won’t even add the phrase “just sayin’” because we all know that’s what people use when they want to say what they mean without any consequences. I stopped using it long ago because it’s lazy English, and it seems talking about wanting snow to fall will bring a barrage of not-so-nice words down upon my head.

To this I say, “Why are you living in Ohio?”

If you live here, you should be used to snow, have a handy repertoire of bread-bag-stuffed-inside-winter-boot stories, and when it snows, say, “It’s snowing.” Instead I see a steady stream of people tearing out their hair and gnashing their teeth, shocked beyond belief that the heavens would dare open in cold Ohio and snow. You got lucky last winter snow haters, and my time is coming. You’re allowed to hate snow, but there’s always Florida.

I don’t know when my love affair with snow started. I remember fat snow suits and me poured into them like a sausage inside a casing. Homemade scarves, crocheted with thick, white yarn, were wrapped around our necks as well as hats perched on our heads. Once that snow suit and boots went on, we knew we’d better stay out long enough to merit the enormous effort it took to put them on.

The little hill in our backyard was enough to slide down in the shiny, round, metal saucer, and sometimes we trudged to the neighbor’s pasture and took a ride down the hill nicknamed “Killer Hill.” Rocks and bumps were many as we flew mightily down that hill, stopping just short of a small stream at the bottom. We went ourselves, no parents around, and learned to navigate the rough patches on our own.

The mighty trees in our front yard were still intact, years before the state would decide they needed to come down, and in between them we would build a snowman. Dad would sometimes help us, the base becoming huge as we rolled that snowball into a giant. We would pack the snow as the body took shape, and when he was finished, my eyes saw him as 7 feet tall. An old muffler would go around his neck with two stones for eyes, and a carrot for the nose went in place; he was our own Frosty. It seems winter was colder then with more snow, and he would stand in place for a very long time.

Our house was the third oldest house in Berlin. We knew this to be fact. My bedroom was tucked in the corner, and my bed stood sentinel under an eave. There were no furnace ducts running into the rooms except in the hallway, and in winter I would rush under the covers to feel the warmth. Late at night as snow would move in, the rafters would shriek and howl with the wind and snow; Old Man Winter would swirl his beautiful flakes around my windows, painting them with frost, and I would fall asleep, rocked by the elements outside.

When morning broke, I would awaken and rush to the windows, my fingers tracing the intricate patterns left by the piercing cold, Jack Frost having worked his magical talents. Donning my fuzzy bathrobe, I would pad out into the hallway and stand over the furnace, rumbling and grumbling two floors down, and feel the warm air.

There is a TV commercial that aired some 20 years ago now, and every time it came on my husband and I would look at each other and smile. In it we are looking at two houses side by side. On one side is a man working very hard at shoveling his driveway, exertion on his face as he futilely works against the elements. At the other house we see a man drive in with his car, driveway unplowed and lights twinkling invitingly inside the home. He steps out with a bag of movies and runs inside, never once looking at the driveway and the piling up of snow.

This is us. We eventually shovel and make intricate paths to get inside, but not before we’ve enjoyed watching the snowfall blanket the earth. We’d rather be cozy inside, watching movies and spending time together. When the time comes to sweep off the porch, I don my warm coat and gloves and stand in the middle of the driveway. I look up and see the snow swirling gently, and the love affair continues.

Published: December 8, 2016
New Article ID: 2016712089975