Winters long ago
“They never called off school back then, even when the snow was three feet deep! We walked uphill to school through blizzards! Then we walked uphill back home!” Oh, the exaggerations we (all) are prone to when we reminisce about our childhoods.
But what was truly better about winter time during my childhood, compared to what kids have today?
Well, we sure got outside more, especially when it snowed. That’s an undeniable fact. When snow came, we stayed out in it for hours at a time; sleigh riding, snow man building, snow ball fighting - and in my case, hiking in it, just for the sheer thrill of it (as I still do today - at every snowfall we ever have in these here parts).
I rarely see kids stay out long in the snow today. “You’ll catch a cold out in the snow!” I hear many a parent rail. (Which, of course, is not going to happen out in the snow, as cold viruses don’t live in the snow. They thrive inside, where it’s warm. But so many people don’t seem to know that.)
It also snowed more back then (not as a wistful exagerration of my childhood memories, but as a recorded scientific fact). Quite a bit more often. And often deeper.
We visited neighbors more often back then, even in the dead of winter, or so it surely seems to me. I can vividly smell the apple pie my mother would bake to take to a new neighbor, even if she had to walk through three feet of snow. (Or was it four?) And I most certainly recall going with her, holding her hand. Or was she holding mine?
(It’s odd how fact and fiction often intertwine, isn’t it? And as time does its dance on us - they can often become difficult to discern. Such is the way of the wonderfully creative human mind, it seems. Even among the most steadfastly honest of us.)