By Patricia Baer
And just like that, winter is suddenly here. It seems like this season always catches me off guard. This fall in particular was hectic, and I hardly had a chance to enjoy the transition out of summer.
Yet, every year tends to be the same. I wake up one morning to discover snow-covered ground, and I am amazed that it is time once again to pull out my winter coat and boots.
I think it is the complete blanketing of the fluffy white stuff altering the landscape that makes the shift feel as abrupt as it does. That transformation of familiar territory into something of a fairytale world is startling yet wondrous.
When I lived downtown I remember gazing at the street below and catching a glimpse of the unplowed road, devoid of tire tracks, and marveling at how that was even possible, how seldom there was no traffic on my block, and how rare an opportunity it was to see downtown so completely abandoned of activity. It was a uniquely peaceful moment to observe.
I know a lot of people dread a snowy winter. I am guessing that after the first major snowfall when I have to plow my driveway I will too, but for now it is still one of my favorite types of weather. It still brings to mind the fun of snow days and sledding, snowball fights, and hot chocolate.
It reminds me of more innocent times when anything was possible and nature’s white canvas provided a blank slate for one’s imagination. The world around you became malleable, allowing you to create whatever was needed for your adventures—a fort, a castle, a spaceship crashed on the ice planet Hoth.
I am looking forward to spending more time outdoors this winter. I have made it a goal to seek new activities that will get me outside and playing in the snow. It seems like wasted time to live in Wisconsin and not enjoy those four to six months out of the year. So I am making it a mission to earn those cozy, curled up indoors with a mug of hot chocolate moments.
We will see how well I follow through. While I enjoy the snow, I cannot tolerate the cold. So there is a bit of a Goldilocks zone that I will be seeking.
It is that love of snow that keeps me in the Midwest. I do not see myself ever becoming a snowbird. I am an all or nothing kind of person anyway. So if I ever decide I have had my fill of the cold, I will be gone permanently, but for now I am content to continue enjoying the magic of Wisconsin’s winter wonderland.