Faking It

NY Snow Storm

NY Snow Storm

As I gaze out at the impenetrable Upstate NY winter I find myself both grateful and amazed.  Grateful for central heating, although it must be noted the Koreans developed radiant floor heating systems centuries ago and our house still has yet to arrive at this advanced technological level.  I’m wriggling cold toes to ward off frostbite as I write.  I’m also appreciative of a neighbor who so cheerfully digs out our driveway with each storm.  What a guy.  I’m a wimp when it comes to winter and, after many years of faking it, now openly admit it.   What amazes me is that once upon a time I thought a winter storm was the cat’s meow.  That cat went south a long time ago.

It wasn’t always this way.   Back in the days when automobiles were snow- spitting, tire-screaming, rear-wheel drive machines and a possible snow day meant listening intently for the fire horn in the village to signal 3-3-3 (when granted, the shouts of gratitude could be heard all the way to the School district offices), snow invoked a magical world of warm igloos, heat-generating snowball fights, and friction-filled sledding tactics on steep ice-slickened streets and hills.

Sledding

Sledding

Cold?  What cold?  With a thin pair of socks we slipped into un-insulated rubber boots, grabbed an ill-fitting parka, stuffed our hands into gloves with worn-through fingers and, if we thought of it (a difficult thought), donned a hat.  For hours we’d truck through the deep and muffled woods, seeking out frozen creeks to slide on, looking for deep drifts to burrow into, or head up to the now delightfully shuttered, single-story elementary school, climb onto the roof, and jump into the egg-white wind whipped drifts below.

Our favourite sport was to stand by the side of a road and await the impact of a massive assault from the great white wash of a snowplow as it rumbled by, the force of which invariably knocked us to the ground like a sucker punch.  We thought it fun.  Honest.    To this day I wish I knew what those drivers thought as they looked in the side-view mirror at the upended boots thrusting out from the snow bank – though I’ve a pretty good idea.  Back into someone’s basement we’d tumble, snow stuffed down our shirts, packed into our boots, feet soaked, hands so numb we couldn’t unzip our coats.

Igloos

Make Shift Igloo

Down it comes, down it comes, the snow sneers through a frosted window as it piles higher and higher.  The frozen chicken of today sits at the keyboard and gripes and remembers and gripes again.  To think I did all that without the technological advances in insulation, without the good sense of adulthood, without the warmth of WoolX.

Gee those were great days.