Gratitude from A to Z: Winter

I'm grateful for the seasons but particularly winter.

Winter was a magical time when I was a child. The slow wait for Christmas then the day finally dawning and descending the stairs to see what Santa had left. Memorable gifts like a table hockey game, reel to reel tape recorder and one year cross country skis - initially a great disappointment as I had been lobbying heavily that year for a family snowmobile.

In his great wisdom, Santa brought the skis instead knowing they would be better for my health and safety as well as the environment. It only took a few adventures into the woods to realize that cross country skiing was a superior way to experience winter. 

Outdoor hockey was another great pleasure of winter. Games on the river or pond would run until dusk when we would come home, have dinner, then go back out to take shots under the single spotlight of the rink we built each winter on our driveway.

Other days we'd hike out across the windy causeway to the Big Hill - our town was full of practically named places like the Big Hill, the Big Rock and the Little Beach. A good run down the Big Hill on a toboggan or magic carpet would take you out onto the river ice. There was always open water by the bridge, but we'd never glide that far.

The magic of Christmas and winter activities may be dulled by the passage of time, but there still is something special about a crisp clear winter's day. I'm grateful for these moments.

 

1 comment

  • Krys

    Krys St Marys

    Ah, yes, practical place names. As a male you might not have read Anne of Green Gables or any of LM Montgomery's wonderful books but she was very interested in making up imaginative names for places; some of my favourites are the Lake of Shining Waters (a pond) and the Land of Uprightness (evergreen bush - possibly cedars?) On the other hand there was a real laneway on the farm at Olinda called the Sandy Road which name brings almost magical memories of building all sorts of sand castle things with my cousin Judy on long summer days. Our house was at the top of a west-facing slope thought to be the shore of an ancient lake - hence the sandy soil so perfect for growing peaches. All very unwintery images. Cross-country skis were certainly a wonderful way to bring winter alive and make it fun. The first two years we lived across from High Park in Toronto, we jumped up and skied though the park in the mornings. The next few years there wasn't any snow... Never enjoyed driving out of the city on winter roads to ski. A couple of times we went to a friend's cottage to ski the weekend which made the ratio of skiing to awful driving more bearable. After going to Vermont to ski at Christmas and having no snow (and a cottage full of mice) we really never did much more skiing. I finally got some comfortable skates and then never skated again either... These days I just fantasize about building snow people - very much enjoy the picture here!

    Ah, yes, practical place names. As a male you might not have read Anne of Green Gables or any of LM Montgomery's wonderful books but she was very interested in making up imaginative names for places; some of my favourites are the Lake of Shining Waters (a pond) and the Land of Uprightness (evergreen bush - possibly cedars?) On the other hand there was a real laneway on the farm at Olinda called the Sandy Road which name brings almost magical memories of building all sorts of sand castle things with my cousin Judy on long summer days. Our house was at the top of a west-facing slope thought to be the shore of an ancient lake - hence the sandy soil so perfect for growing peaches.

    All very unwintery images. Cross-country skis were certainly a wonderful way to bring winter alive and make it fun. The first two years we lived across from High Park in Toronto, we jumped up and skied though the park in the mornings. The next few years there wasn't any snow... Never enjoyed driving out of the city on winter roads to ski. A couple of times we went to a friend's cottage to ski the weekend which made the ratio of skiing to awful driving more bearable. After going to Vermont to ski at Christmas and having no snow (and a cottage full of mice) we really never did much more skiing. I finally got some comfortable skates and then never skated again either... These days I just fantasize about building snow people - very much enjoy the picture here!

Add comment