Elizabeth Davies: Looking for some winter in November
It was a glorious November day, the kind that makes you dig out your shorts and flip-flops.
All the chatter in my neighborhood last weekend was about the amazing November heat wave that gave everyone the chance to do that last-minute yardwork we all were expecting to put off until spring. And while I nodded enthusiastically at all the terrific weather proclamations, I was feeling a little ripped off.
“It’s November!” I thought to myself. Sure, 67 degrees is nice. But November is all about fall jackets and warm sweaters. We should be sitting around the living room fireplace, not building a bonfire in the backyard.
My family might not be the norm, but we love winter. We aren’t thrilled with waking up an hour early to shovel off the driveway just so we can get to the street, of course. And the idea of driving home in the dark at 5 p.m. isn’t loads of fun, either.
But think of all the wonderful things that winter brings: hot cocoa, beautiful snowflakes fluttering outside, cozy bedroom slippers, cinnamon-scented pinecones.
Winter sports are big around here, too. My husband is the first in line when those season ski passes go on sale, and even my 2-year-old was angling to pull his sled down from storage just recently. I’m a figure skater — although the fair-weathered variety because I’ll pick a rink over a pond any day — and I’m up for a few runs down the beginner ski slope myself.
In the heart of winter, the outdoors becomes a playground even without a slide or swings. You can make snow angels or snowmen, throw snowballs or climb snow mountains. Everyone gets to be a kid in the snow.
In the best of times, I even like to shovel. I think we don’t own a snowblower for that very reason. Every year, we threaten to get one — usually right after getting a good 8-inch snowfall with drifts. But somehow, we never even get to the store to look for a snowblower. We just keep buying new shovels.
Here’s the thing about shoveling: It’s my personal Zen. It’s a quiet task, and methodical. Scoop and dump, scoop and dump. When I pause to give my back a break, I can stand up and take a good look around: It’s gorgeous. Just blankets of uninterrupted white, as far as I can see.
That is, anyway, what I think about shoveling as I’m hauling around a wheelbarrow on a 67-degree day.
Ask me again when it’s 7 degrees and windy. Perhaps my love won’t be so pure.
Rockford Register Star