Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Survive Winter

I have finally figured it out.  I now know how to survive a Minnesota winter.  I stay indoors.

I don't recall disliking winter when I was a child.  I remember the fun of building snow forts.  And snowmen.  And making snow angels.  And ice skating.  And sledding.

Going sledding at my Grandma Matheny's house near Blackduck was exciting.  The cousins would take sleds and toboggans to the hill in the cow pasture across from the house.  This hill was full of rocks and tree stumps.  The person who was steering the sled had better be good at it, or we would hit a rock or stump and go flying off into the snow.

One year when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my Christmas present was a pair of ice skates.  Five blocks from our house in Willmar was an outdoor ice skating rink.  I spent many hours there skating.....pretending I was an Olympic skating star.  Truth be known, I never did get the hang of skating backwards or doing the fancy steps and jumps, but Oh, how I loved to skate.

When my family lived on the farm, sometimes in the winter my Dad and Uncle Ronnie would pack up us kids on a Sunday afternoon and head for the lake.  They would shovel off an area so we could ice skate.  Or they would drive the car around on the ice and snow, towing us on skis or sleds.  I'm pretty sure that the towing part would be frowned upon today, what with all the concern with safety issues.  But we sure had fun.  And afterward, there was always hot chocolate and cookies at either our house or at Ronnie and Em's.

I guess I really don't hate winter.  I love to sit in my rocking chair by the window with a cup of tea or coffee and watch the snow fall.  I love the way the snow makes everything look so beautiful.  But after years of clearing snow off of sidewalks with a shovel and years of slippy sliding on the ice, walking or driving, I much prefer to watch winter from the comfort of my living room.

Works for me.

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