Winter, real winter, has finally hit the midwest. Zero degrees, cold wind, and now some snow. As much as I enjoyed scooting around doing Christmas shopping in fifty degrees, it felt wrong.
I remember the winters of my youth, watching the snow fall at night, hoping, usually against hope, that we would get deep enough snow to close school the next day. Wake up early. Turn on the radio. Hang on the announcer's every word wait, wait to hear good ol' "Fairview Elementary School closed today". Run around shouting with my sister, "Hoorray, hooray, we don't have school today!" Build a snowman. Prepare a pile of snowballs to ambush Daddy when he arrives home from work. Always a "surprise" that he stops the car a few blocks away and arms himself with a few snowballs to ambush us. Badger him to take us to the park for sledding down "Suicide Hill". Stay outside until our fingers and toes are numb, then finally give in and go inside to suffer the needles and pins as the feeling returns to frigid fingers and toes. Sip hot cocoa with rosy cheeks and runny noses.
Now, Daddy is gone, "Suicide HIll" fenced off, and middle-aged fingers and toes don't tolerate the cold as well. But each time the lawns are blanketed with snow, or the whiff of cocoa hits my nose, I smile and remember it all as if it were yesterday.