The weather may be frightful…

So, we’re allegedly gonna get some snow tonight, and I, for one, am smiling like a fool.

Now, I know there will be some pain-in-the-assery on my way in to work tonight. Someone is bound to be white-knuckling on his/her steering wheel, driving 15 mph, because they saw 1 flake of snow. And invariably, I will be stuck behind them. But you know, I’m still gonna be grinning like Hines Ward after a great catch.

The reason is because I love the cold and snow. I know this is contrary to most people, but I have so many great memories of the cold and winter that I look forward to its arrival every year.

I can still remember the first time I could see my breath because it was that cold outside. I was in 4th grade, and mom had moved us to live with my grandma in West Vandergrift. I remember grandma coming in the house, feeling the blast of cold that I had never known before. And she said, “Hey Buck, it’s cold enough to see your breath outside!” There was no way this was possible in my mind, so before you know it, I was outside, in my pajamas, constantly exhaling to watch where my breath would go — and despite my shivering, I kept thinking that that was the single neatest thing I had ever seen in my life.

The cold also meant a shift in our dining habits. Instead of cereal in the morning, grandma would wake us up (the shrillness of her shriek up the steps worked better than any alarm clock), and give us hot cocoa and peanut butter on toast. No, we weren’t living high on the hog by any means — it was the late 70s/early 80s, the steel mills were closing and nobody was really in a good spot financially — but to this day, that combo brings me back a sense of comfort, no matter how bad the weather is outside.

Grandma would also make all kinds of great stuff — stews, cookies, pasta, chili, soups, meatloaf, etc. — not that she wouldn’t make them during the warmer months, but the aromas were just stronger because all the windows and doors were shut. I can still hear her horrible off-key humming and singing — “Tiny Bubbles” was by far the worst — but I never seemed to mind because that was her being who she was.

The first time I ever saw a deer (that was alive) was when it was cold. They used to come into grandma’s lawn in the early morning, and my sister and I would look out of the big kitchen window and stare in amazement at them. The deer and the rabbits. To this day, any time I’m out hiking or biking and I stumble upon a deer, I always stop to watch them — because even if it’s for just a brief second, I’m a kid again.

So times change — grandma’s now gone, some other family lives in that nifty little house, and my sister and I have our own homes. But nothing brings me back to those days like feeling the cold on my face, watching my breath drift into the wind and sitting under afghans with the smell of something good cooking drifting out of the kitchen.

Everything is calm.

It’s quiet.

It’s home.


2 Responses to “The weather may be frightful…”

  1. October 28, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t like snow or cold or anything that makes me choose pants over shorts…

    But I think you gave me something to write about myself since it does bring back memories… off to my bat-blog!

  2. October 30, 2008 at 12:02 am

    A coworker and I have been going for jogs/walks a couple days a week after work for the past couple weeks. For the first time on our walks, we saw two deer. I’m guessing boyfriend girlfriend since one had antlers and the other not…but at the same time we saw them it was snowing a bit.

    The other funny part, we have another coworker that is an avid hunter…down to having pictures of deer up in his cube similar to my GPa’s Playboy posters in his garage. So my comment after we saw the deer – “You know, if J. was here he would have just had an orgasm.” We had to stop jogging while she caught her breath from laughing so hard. Maybe you need to know J. to really appreciate how his reaction would have creamed himself. Shoot, he gets excited and foams at the mouth when there is a groundhog outside.

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