When I think of winter, I think of my childhood. Although I was lucky enough to grow up in the Pacific Northwest, where we experience all four seasons to their fullest, winter was always my favorite. There’s no one reason why, but an amalgamation of the experiences that came with cold and snowy months.
My hometown used to get several feet of snow every year, so I have plenty of memories of building snowmen and snow forts. The forts were my favorite, as my brothers would spend hours carving out these giant dens and tunnels, and when they were finally tired and went inside to play, my best friend Sarah and I would sneak in and play ‘house’. Oh, what my brothers would have done if they knew their snowball fight army layers doubled as play kitchens and laundry rooms where we fed and cared for our ‘snow babies’ (mini snowmen we made).
The snow didn’t usually come until after Thanksgiving, but I remember one year when, just after dark, the biggest flakes I’d ever seen started falling from the sky. They were so big and fluffy that when we could stick our tongues out and have just one or two land on it, trap it in our mouth, and actually taste the few drops of water it melted into. My parents let us flail around in the front yard, giggling and catching snowflakes until we were thoroughly soaked. That year, Thanksgiving dinner smelled better than ever through my red frozen nose. That memory returns to me every Thanksgiving evening, just as the sun goes down.
I also loved the two weeks we got off of school for the holidays. Both of my parents worked at that point, so my oldest brother babysat our middle brother and me. We spent hours every day using the Christmas tree as a pretend world, where our Lego men explored alongside the ornaments that came to life in our minds. I wish I had pictures of the Lego forts we built and propped up in the tree in the crooks of the branches.
My oldest brother also showed us how Mom and Dad used the kind of Scotch tape that you could unstick without ripping the paper – if you went slow enough. My brother and I never had the patience for it, but we’d watch in wonder as our older brother meticulously opened carefully selected presents to peek at them, and then put the paper and tape back exactly as it was. He started using his special skill to get us to do things for him, offering to help us peek at one of our presents in return for us doing his chores. Our parents never suspected we were peekers!
These are just a few of the fun memories I have of my childhood in the winter, and they bring me happiness every year when they come flooding back. I am excited to share them with my daughter as she gets older, as well as watch her create memories of her own.
Photo courtesy of _rockinfree/Flickr
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