Ah, winter. The smell of winter. The crispness of the air left your nose tingling. As a child, I loved winter. We would get snow in November and it would last until March. My parents weren’t too happy because it meant shoveling a driveway and then again once the snow plow went through.
But as a child, it meant crisp whiteness until February. Best of all, it meant that Christmas was coming soon. We were in the ultimate winter wonderland. Lots of snow meant no school and time to make forts. Go sledding and skating. Usually our street froze over and we could skate on it.
Our forts were spectacular. We would dig into the huge snowbanks on the sides of the road. Our friends would build a fort on the other side of the road and we would have wars. My brother and I had to protect our castle but try to take over the castle on the other side of the road.
Once one side had declared victory, we would go sledding. The farmer’s fields behind the row of houses opposite to where we lived had the most awesome hills. They always drifted over with the most spectacular drifts. Yes, as children, we would go in a group and sled to our hearts content. As long as our parents could hear us, there was no worry. For them or for us. It was so much more different back then.
When weather conditions were right, our entire street would be covered in a sheet of ice. Sparkles danced when the sun came out and shone on the ice like a mirror reflecting back colors. We would eagerly put on our skates. The boys got out their hockey nets and be world famous hockey players.
I couldn’t be bothered with that. I was a figure skater, don’t you know? We taught ourselves to skate and we were pretty happy with what we could do. I would pretend to do difficult spins and jumps. Actually, on the uneven surface of a gravel lined street, it was pretty difficult to just skate forwards. But I managed skating backwards and doing, what I thought, was intricate footwork and spins and spirals.
Our imaginations were wild and free. It was unlimited and we were allowed to be free spirited and child-like. Whatever we chose to do, we would check with our parents first and then go off on our adventures. We did have to check in with our parents but that was the only limit. We had our imaginations and that was all we needed.