The Magic of Winter

I am not a winter person. Or am I?

- Posted on Dec 20, 2010

Colleen Hughes

Oh, boy, winter. My favorite time of year—not. Numb fingers, frozen toes, chattering teeth, shivering shoulders, itchy wool—my whole body in agony. And the work: dressing in layers, pulling on heavy snow boots to shovel even heavier snow, steering an overflowing grocery cart across the icy parking lot, yelling to my kids, “Yes, you must wear a hat!” I start dreading the season with the first hint of fall. Since I live in the Northeast, that means I’m not exactly thrilled for about six months a year. Too bad I can’t “work from home” (New Orleans, that is!) from October to March.

My nine-year-old, Evangeline, takes it personally that I don’t like the season she was born in. She’s a December baby, December 24. Evie is definitely one thing I like about winter. And then there’s Christmas. Couldn’t I find more to like about the cold for my New Year’s resolution?

I do like soup: French onion, squash, tomato. But my favorite is homemade split pea with sour cream. I spend lots of winter Saturday afternoons stirring over a big pot of it and tasting right from the spoon.

Sleeping in on a snow day is not bad, either. Especially when the neighborhood boys shovel my driveway for the price of a movie ticket. My daughters make snow angels out back, the cats step daintily and shake out their paws, while I await calls for hot cocoa and marshmallows.

Some nights, I watch snowflakes fall in the cone-shaped light of our street lamp. The image pulls me back to my first snow, when I stepped out of my Brooklyn apartment and caught my breath. Nobody ever told me snow floats down magically, really, just like in a snow globe.

I suppose there is a magic in winter, and I’ll find it most days. I’ll be dressed like an Eskimo, but I’ll find it.

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