Sunday, March 2, 2014

let's pretend

Let's pretend.

Today I'm pretending I'm eight years old again and today's snow storm is the first one of the winter. You can't imagine the joy in my heart! The excitement! My father and I have carted our skiis into the kitchen and set up shop. There are rites to be observed on this occasion. We set the flat iron on the stove to warm. We take a file to the edges of the skiis until they are sharp enough to cut paper. Then we rub them down with wax and run the iron over it. Before the wax cools, we spread it out evenly using a piece of cork. The smell of melted wax fills the house. My father tightens and oils the bindings while I dust off the boots and poles. Mother has pulled out a chest full of hats and mittens and scarves. Tomorrow we'll hit the slopes.

I'm pretending that the creek is frozen over. It is a cold, gloomy day but that doesn't discourage us. My brother and I have lugged our ice skates and a couple of shovels through the woods to a place that, just a few months ago, served as our summertime swimming hole. The stream widens here and the water deepens. The ice is thick and smooth. We push last night's snow off to one side, strap on our skates, and wobble out onto the ice. Today I am determined to learn how to propel myself backwards. Peter gives me a boost and the crowd goes wild.

I'm pretending that this is the day we decided to hike through the snow for no better reason than to prove we could. The snow is up to our knees, the drifts up to our waists. We take turns leading the way, blazing a trail across the field, up the hill, and and into the woods. There is snow in our boots. It has worked its way up under our jackets, and has soaked through our gloves, a piddling price to pay for what we find. The woods are silent, the air is still. A dog barks somewhere off in the distance. A squirrel runs for cover. At the top of the hill we survey the valley below. Nothing stirs.


If you have had it with winter...if you can't take one more snow storm...take a minute and pretend you're a child again. Step outside for a moment and catch a couple of flakes on your tongue. Get a mug of hot chocolate and stuff it full of marshmallows. Be a kid again.

"I prefer winter,
when you feel the bone structure of the landscape.
Something waits beneath it;
the whole story doesn't show."
~Andrew Wyeth~
Me, too, Andrew.


  1. You took me there...sledding, skiing, snowshoeing...and yet, and yet, I'd rather pretend it was summer

  2. I remember doing all those things as a child. Snow days were great but also a lot of extra work for us on the farm.
    I don't even mind the snow much, it's the bitter cold we've had. It keeps me inside where as snow doesn't.