It’s snowing! The fluffy white stuff is falling…not a lot, but some. I love snow. I love winter and the myriad aspects that accompany it: snow, cold, icicles hanging from the trees and roofs and beneath the cars in the parking lot like the ground has reached up and is trying to hold the metal beast to the ground, fireplaces, cuddling up with my wife while sipping hot chocolate with cinnamon and honey, red cheeks, sledding, snowball fights, snowmen, and snow forts. I do admit that there are some things I could do without: chapped lips, other people driving in it, and static electricity.
Living in Arkansas, I do not get to see a lot of snow. Usually, I am making a trek to some place in the mountains to have some fun. But way back in February 2011, we received almost two feet of snow in one 24-hour period up here in our little corner of the state. It was amazing!!
At that time, the windshield wipers on my vehicle were not in the best of conditions. When the boss closed the office and I headed home, they were just streaking ice and snow across the windshield. So as any normal person severely lacking in common sense would, I rolled my window down and stuck my head out to see where I was going.
My wife will tell you that she heard me coming into the neighborhood—I was laughing like some deranged madman coming down the road. Icicles hung from my beard and my eyebrows, and my cheeks were flushed rosy with either wind burn or sheer enjoyment. I grabbed the sleds and the kids and took them to the biggest hill in Bentonville.
Many children and adults were shivering and cold—but enjoying the experience. My own children would unzip their coats, take off the outer layers. They knew they didn’t want to be sweating, and I had taught them how to dress properly in layers. At one point, my son is racing down the hill—I had to dive out of the way to keep from being bowled over, and he kept going. A busy road runs close to the bottom of the hill, and cars that had brought other sledders were parked along it.
Earlier in the event someone had jumped the ditch and gone across the road, luckily missing being hit by some passing vehicle. Seeing my son racing for the bottom of the hill, I ran after him, yelling, “Bail. Bail. Bail.”
He has about as much common sense as I do…he stayed on, laughing in shrill delight. His sled flew down the slope, into the ditch and up the other side. With him on it still, it shot up the opposite incline and smacked into one of the parked vehicles. He was laughing, and I was hoping he wouldn’t tell his mother when we got home. But it was a grand experience.
Once when I was in high school, we had another good snow. My parent’s house was up on a hill. So of course, my sisters and I went sledding—we had just moved from Iceland and needed snow. I’m in the front and my sisters, ranging by age are seated behind me. We zipped down the hill and went across the dirt road. On the other side of the road lay another slope, but at the top of it was a barbed wire fence.
So of course, the sled teeters on the edge. When it goes over, I put my foot out and catch it on the bottom wire. Whew…our progress had been halted. But not for long. The weight on the sled pushed us down, and my foot went up over my head. It pulled me off, and the two middle sisters also fell off, while the youngest one road all the way to the bottom, laughing hysterically in delight. And the other two had been yelling for her to bail…
When we lived in Iceland, I remember walking home from the Youth Center once during the winter. I had missed the bus. I didn’t want to be late home, or I could be grounded. So I started out into the dark—the winter days are pretty short up there close to the Arctic Circle. Some of the snow and slush had melted during the afternoon as vehicles scurried about their business, but by the time I headed home, the water had started to freeze.
I was trying to walk home on a sheet of ice. So I started skating home…in regular snow boots! Slide, slide, slide, glide….slide, slide, slide, glide… Then whenever I came to a downward slope, I would tuck into my best impersonation of a ski jumper racing down the ramp. I made pretty good time…and I do not recall too many uphill portions between the youth center and Tree Housing—where we lived at the bottom of the hill.
Yep. I like winter. I like snow.