Since living in Colorado, I’ve grown accustomed to the relatively mild winters we often have, and I still marvel at how I can usually hang Christmas lights outside in short sleeves in December. But with winter back in its full frozen glory, I find myself bundling up once again in layers of hats, gloves, jackets, and boots to combat the frigid temperatures… I’m sure you’re bundling up too.
I really didn’t think I missed the days of bundling up like the little kid in “A Christmas Story” who falls down and can’t get up because he’s got so many layers on. But I’ve surprised myself during this cold streak. I’m actually enjoying the cold weather and getting bundled up in winter gear again.
I grew up in Wisconsin and Minnesota and frigid temperatures were the norm in winter so I was used to cold days. I learned early on how to bundle up to keep warm, but also how to have fun despite the cold. Bundling up again has brought back some vivid childhood memories and stories.
We lived five miles out of town on a lake in Wisconsin. Bundling up meant skating on the ice rink shoveled by my dad in front or our house or checking the tip-ups with my mom to see if any fish had bit the bait. Bundling up meant carrying hot hard boiled eggs in my pockets to keep my hands warn (even with mittens on!) as I walked an eighth mile (or more it seemed!) to the school bus stop. Bundling up meant hiking the 18 acres of land behind our house for the perfect Christmas tree. Bundling up meant hiking those same 18 acres to see if any animals had taken refuge in the shelters that my sister had constructed in the fall so the animals would have a place to stay cozy in the winter. Bundling up meant pulling out the cross county skis and even entering a kids’ ski race or two. Bundling up meant sledding down Miller’s Hill so many times we couldn’t keep count… and then going down once more.
And bundling up meant unbundling after our adventures. As my sister and I slowly unpeeled layer after layer of clothing off, we were warmed by the cozy wood stove on our four-season porch. We’d warm our insides with a mug of hot cocoa and on the best days, we’d tell the story of the day’s adventures or listen to a story as we bundled up again under the warmth of a soft quilt. What a pleasure to remember those cold days.
Yes, I’m thankful for these cold days. They bring me back to my childhood and the special times I’ve had with my family. And I’m thankful for these cold days… for the new memories being created now with my daughter and husband as we bundle up for more outdoor adventures… and then unbundle for a sip of cocoa, a cozy quilt, and a story. I wonder what winter story we’ll be telling tonight.