A lot of my childhood memories revolve around snow and being outside in it. I suppose that much as I prefer TB (my cat) getting some time outside to get rid of his excess energy, Mom thought that sending us out, no matter the temperature was safer for all involved than having us fighting with each other in the living room. For some reason, my memory tells me that we got a lot of snow every winter. It always seemed that there was plenty for us to play in and play with.
The thing is, Mom loved playing in the snow too. I have a lot of memories of her spending time building things in the snow for us. Her snow sculptures generally garnered attention and brought the children to our house, but we were the ones who got to stay and play when everyone else had to go home in the evening.
We had snow horses and snow forts – albeit a little small by today’s standards. There were no tools, just a couple of kids who would bring snow as close as we could so Mom could construct whatever it was she was building.
We built snow houses … Carol and Jim and I would scoop and stomp out spaces for rooms and hallways in the front yard and then play as if we lived there. Mom had to call us over and over to get us to come back inside.
Dad never had pristine yards when there were three kids who played in them. The neighbor’s would all have pretty white snow, and Dad would walk home from church to discover that his yard was filled with paths and grass and dirt where we might have dug down too far. He didn’t complain. At least he got home to a pleasant wife who wasn’t ready to strangle the three beasts who lived in her home.
The temperatures are dropping and I began thinking of all the different times we spent playing in the snow. Dad took the snowblower out to our local lake – Yenrougis (Sigourney spelled backwards), and after assuring himself that the ice was plenty thick, would clear a space for us to ice skate. He’d do the same thing for the youth group and as often as possible, we headed out for sledding and skating parties.
Winter has always been a time of play and fun in my memory. I’m getting old enough to not quite appreciate the snow and cold temperatures as much as I used to, but my memories still retain the joy of fresh snow on the ground and the possibilities that could come from a full yard of it.
I do prefer seeing its beauty from inside the house now and snuggling with a warm cat while I remember the fun of being a child on a snowy day.