I must be getting old, because I swear the cold never bothered me like this in my “younger” days. This winter, however, I’ve walked the city streets with my hands shoved as deep into my jacket pockets as possible, teeth chattering and eyes tearing-up from the frigid temperatures.
Which is strange because, as a child, one of my favorite activities involved sledding down the various slopes of Chenango County and – as it seemed then – the small mountain known as Dead Man’s Hill, just inside the city limits. And while I remain uncertain as to the origin of that name, in my youth I was convinced that no less than two dozen grown adults – not to mention countless numbers of children – had perished on its steep and twisting trail.
That’s not to say I couldn’t be talked into enjoying some sort of winter activity once in awhile, if I happened to own a full compliment of winter survival gear that is. I’m talking boots, gloves, snow-pants, goggles, parka, scarf, hat, earmuffs and, most definitely, thermal underwear. Unfortunately, I’ve already made a solemn vow never to downhill ski again, although I’m fairly certain I could come to enjoy the cross-country variety, not to mention snow-shoeing, ice-fishing and, of course, dog-sledding.
And before it’s said, I’m not one of those who constantly complains of our area’s winter weather. You know the ones, they’re also the people that complain when it’s too hot in the summer, something I’ve never understood.
No, it seems I’ve simply outgrown my childhood immunity to the cold, at least that’s the only solution I can come up with. The days of snowball fights, snowman construction and yes, even sledding, are obviously behind me. Nowadays, when the weather is at its coldest, I’m much more content at home, reading a good book or watching a favorite movie. Neither activity is, I’ll admit, nearly as exciting as racing down old Dead Man’s Hill at a breakneck pace, but it sure is a whole lot warmer.