My good friend Art recently posted a blog... http://pheh.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/the-weather-may-be-frightful that got my brain ticking.
I fucking hate winter. I hate the cold. I hate cold fingers, cold ears, a cold nose and shivering. I really fucking hate fucking shivering. I hate going to bed at night in my chilly little bedroom and taking my cloths off and shivering for 5 minutes under the covers to pay for the 3 seconds I spent naked without clothes or blankets.
I hate shoveling my walk. I hate digging my car out from the snow. I really hate digging my car out from the snow that the plow guy humorously piled up over top of my hood. HE HE YOU FUCKING PRICK!
I hate those ugly grey days when everything, and I mean everything, is grey and shitty and bland and boring.
But Art reminded me that as a kid winter was something else, wasn't it?
I mean first off, when I was a kid I'd pray for snow. I wasn't even picky about the god I'd pray too either. I'm sure I made up a snow god and prayed to him and offered him human sacrifice if only he could make it snow long enough so that a) school would get canceled and b) I could build snow tunnels all over the neighborhood like some secret underground military base.
The first prayer was sometimes answered! Not often enough for me, but on occasion we could get a 5 day weekend. What did we do with our 5 days off? We played out in the snow... all day, every day. If we weren't sledding down Sullivan's back yard, we were building snow forts and planning snow battles.
I remember one winter I was determined to build an igloo. Of course the snow wasn't good enough for the kind of igloo you see on TV, but it was good enough to roll up 4 massive snowman-base sized balls, push them near each other and then pack in the empty space until it looked like an igloo. The rest of the day was spent hollowing out the giant snow dome... and you know, once it was done, it was actually pretty damn warm in side. (So warm in fact, I made another one a few years later and my GF at the time (you read about her) and I can now say we had sex in an igloo.)
However I still remember there was something about the snow in my childhood that I really hated...
It was this particular brand of snow boot that looked a lot like the one above, only there were no laces - just this weird metal clasps that rarely stayed closed. The insulation wasn't furry looking, in fact, it looked a lot like old carpet padding. They weren't really waterproof either, so I had to first put my feet into bread bags and then into the boot.
Those things sucked sooo bad that when moon boots came out, I thought they were a gift from the Snow God. "You have suffered long enough Young Nathaniel, here - Moon Boots!"
But even with the sucky boots - it was a good time.... just a blur of memories.
The neighbors small pond freezing over, 3 of us barely fitting on it to "skate" in our sneakers, until Brian Stoddard pushed me and I broke the ice with my face. Which was fine because when I got home Buck Rogers had a new episode on that night anyway.
Coming home at like 10:00 at night and noticing the absolute silence. No birds. No cars anywhere. No kids out playing and screaming. Nobody in the world but me.
My brothers and I helping to push cars up Riverhill Rd where a fire hydrant was leaking and freezing out on to the road. When my brother started to collect tips from the people we helped, I remembered his grabbing the monkey wrench from my dads tools earlier in the evening.
Leaving the first foot print somewhere... or better yet leaving tracks that would confuse people by walking backwards in my own tracks, or jumping back into an area where there was no snow to leave tracks in.
That smell... sometimes the smell of nothing. Sometimes the smell of wood fireplaces, sometimes the smell of coal. Ya know, this is something most people don't even know they miss, but coming home the other day someone must have had a coal fired stove and I caught a whiff and remember that's how ALL winters used to smell before they closed up every factory in the Mon Valley.
But hey - we get older don't we? Soon the snow becomes a reason your parents won't take you to the mall to hang out with your buddies, or the threat of snow becomes the reason you can't borrow the car. Snow becomes a hindrance and more and more of your friends would rather stay in alone rather than get together and play a game of AD&D over some hot chocolate.
Maybe I don't hate winter as much as I hate being an adult.