The next couple of months represent my least favorite time of year. No more holidays, no more football and no end to the frigid temperatures in sight. Now I’ve never been a big fan of winter in general, a fact I find most amusing considering the only other place I’ve ever lived is Vermont, where winter is almost like a second job, but I thought I’d take a shot at reliving some of my most vivid winter memories, all in an effort to cheer myself up as this hated season lingers on.
It was late fall in 1996 and I was visiting a close friend in Vermont. I’d never experienced a Vermont winter at this point in time, and boy was I unprepared. While my friend and the parental units were away at work, I would usually spend some time in the afternoon cleaning up and doing dishes, just trying to help out a little. And that’s when it happened.
The view out of the window above the kitchen sink at my friend’s house is spectacular to say the least. I’m sure the mountains of Vermont do not compare to the Rockies in grandeur, but they’re still pretty impressive, and quite beautiful. While dishwashing, I had been appreciating this lovely view when something strange occurred, the mountains suddenly disappeared. It was as if someone had draped a sheet over them, all I could see was white, and it was coming closer. I stood transfixed as a veritable wall of snow approached the house, and bingo, approximately three feet of snow in less than two hours. Unbelievable.
Then there’s the time when I was around 8 years old and my father, God rest his soul, decided that it would be fun to pull my step-brother and I behind his van in a “sled” that he had built for the purpose. Don’t get me wrong, we were having a great time, that is until a large chunk of ice/rock busted through the bottom of the “sled”, causing a torrential spray of dirt, snow, ice and stone. Frantically we waved for Dad to stop, or at least slow down, but our cries went unheard as the suddenly scary jaunt continued for another 15 or 20 minutes. We burned that “sled” later in the spring.
I always tell people that I’m just not a winter person, as I have no winter hobbies or pastimes. I did, however, attempt to downhill ski once, and I swear I’ll never set foot on a ski slope again. Some close friends of mine, actually my closest friends, thought it would be a great idea to take me skiing for the first time. It was my freshman year at Ithaca College, and Greek Peak was right around the corner. Now I must admit that what followed is partially my fault, as I bragged on and on about what a fantastic water-skier I was, and how this couldn’t be any more difficult to master. A quick piece of information for you all: Downhill skiing is completely, totally and by no means anything like water-skiing. To make a long story short, my “friends” took me to the top of a Black Diamond trail, said “good luck” and down I went, literally. I did not see the mogul until too late and I was airborne, and then came the pain. After nearly killing myself (I came ridiculously close to the edge of a 200 foot cliff), and falling countless times, I was so sore that I missed classes for two days and could not, for the life of me, get out of bed. With friends like these, well, you know how that one goes.
So I guess I’ll just have to suffer a little longer, but it just seems like time drags on this time of year. Of course, once spring does come, I’ll be complaining about the slush, mud and rain. Is it summer yet?