Winter Memories

If you’re looking for a snuggly, fuzzy, feel-good post about warm mittens, hot cocoa, tobogganing parties and friendly snowmen, go look somewhere else.

I hate winter. I have always hated winter. My parents seemed determined I should like, and even enjoy winter. When I was really little my dad made me a wooden sled with highly polished chrome runners. Went like the wind that thing did. Was a bitch to get back up the hill though. It was too heavy! I remember being at Arrowdale Golf Course one cold day. My mom was sitting in the nice warm car puffing away on a cigarette or ten while I theoretically had a wonderful time sledding down the hill. I sledded down just fine. Couldn’t get back up. I’d manage to crawl up a couple feet, then slip down to the bottom again. By the time I finally made it to the top, I was sobbing and never wanted to see a sled, hill or snow ever again.

One wintery day a couple years later my mom gave me an empty maple syrup bottle, which I loved. I thought was so pretty and funny shaped. I filled it with water – don’t ask why, I don’t know – and left it outside in the snow fort I had built when my mom forced me to go out to “play” in the snow. The next morning my lovely bottle was broken, and I was devastated. I hadn’t liked winter before that; after the maple syrup bottle incident, I despised winter.

I managed to get my ear frostbitten once. I was in grade seven at Brantford Christian School, way across town, and I rode the school bus. One day they called the buses early due to weather, but no one bothered to inform our parents – or if they did, mine couldn’t be bothered picking me up at the bus stop, so I walked home from the bus stop. It was cold. Really cold. And windy. And I got frostbite on my left ear. Another nail in the coffin of my tolerance for winter.

Also in grade seven – seeing a trend here? – I was out in the playground at recess and somehow managed to get in the way of a snowball, which thwacked me right in the eye. Said snowball had a small piece of ice packed into it, and I thought I was going blind. It cut my eyelid slightly and I couldn’t open my eye, it hurt so much, and it was running and watering like crazy. I’ve hated snowballs ever since.

Oh, and yeah, I remember back in grade three we had to take off our boots and coats and leave them on hooks in the hall outside the classroom. I guess my feet had grown and my winter boots were too small – either that or my mom was just too cheap to buy new boots, yeah, that’s probably it. They hurt like hell to wear, and were nearly impossible to pull off at the end of recess. I remember sitting on the floor tugging like mad on those damn boots, almost in tears because I was the last one in the hall and those boots just would not come off. I’ve had an issue with winter boots ever since.

It hasn’t improved any. I still hate winter. I hate hats, scarves, mitts, coats and boots. I hate being cold. I hate shovelling snow. I hate scraping ice and snow off my car – and then my bus!  I have no desire to toboggan, snowshoe, snowboard or ski – in fact, over the years I developed a motion sickness issue that has made tobogganing or skiing intolerable. We took the kids tobogganing once to Arrowdale Golf Course. I went down the hill once. Once. And at the bottom of the hill my head was spinning and I was feeling nauseous. Mind you, I guess that could have been in part due to flashbacks from dragging that bloody heavy wooden sled with the chrome runners up that same hill when I was just little. Maybe Arrowdale was not the wisest place to go….

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One Response to Winter Memories

  1. Tom Story says:

    You LOVE winter. Remember washing the face of German in the snow to show him how it was done & how Andrew ran like the dickens when you said the word wash? How about when German threw the snowball & caught your fried right in the face & was so horrified? You LOVE winter …just on your terms though!! LOL Really I’m with you. There isn’t much to like really. We make things for our kids to enjoy and forget that we are bigger than they are. A sled which is easy for us to pull may be too big and heavy for the child. We may be comfortable for hours in the snow but a child with a fraction of our mass may find it just too much to tolerate. Winter fun is best in small doses with single malt doses for afters in front of a nice fire.

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