"I hate winter! I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I hate the way winter makes life so much harder. I hate having to put on a coat, hat, scarf, mittens and boots just to get out and go to the grocery store."
Those Destroyer thoughts started popping into my head sometime in late September, I suppose, as I realized the long days of summer were starting to come to a close in Northern Ohio, and we had a what always seems to be a very short fall to look forward to. Then I started having a conversation with myself that went something like this:
"Linda, if you hate winter and being outside in winter, how can you be promoting the Come Alive Outside movement?"
"I don't know. That's really kind of hypocritical, isn't it? When did I start to hate winter so much?"
I think it was when I quit having fun and enjoying getting outside to play. Life has become so busy that it just seems inconvenient to deal with winter. I think back to childhood memories. Perhaps my well-intentioned mother has something to do with my attitude today. I can remember being just a little girl, maybe about five, and wanting to go outside and build a snowman. Mom said, "It's too cold for you to go outside," so she set me up by a window to watch while she, Dad and one of my uncles built the snowman right outside the window. I guess she thought I just wanted to see a snowman and didn't really get that I wanted to experience building the snowman.
Dad was a little different from Mom. I think he was still a child at heart, and one winter when I was around 11, he and my Uncle Andy decided they would build a huge sled. It ended up being big enough to hold 10 people on it, and we got on while Dad hooked it to a tractor and dragged us down the roads around our house. The roads were so snow covered at the time that there was no other traffic on them. Dad and Uncle Andy then decided to hose down the very hilly driveway at Grandma's house and created an icy surface just for smaller sleds, and my sisters and cousins and I spent hours of fun riding down them on our dad's backs. Was it cold? It was absolutely freezing! But, no one cared. That's what hot chocolate was for!
Later on, I had children, and I'm thankful for my husband playing with them in the snow. (Men must stay children longer than women.) When my boys were just two and three, we lived in an apartment, and the one memory they have of that apartment is "that night Dad took us out and pulled us all around the fields on a sled in the snow." The moonlight was streaming through the trees that night, the snow was beautiful, and they all had a blast. Later on, he built igloos with the boys and my daughter, and my job this time was to be the hot chocolate maker.
It's been good for me to think on these memories again and be reminded of why I used to love winter. I hope I can recapture that desire for fun and banish the words "I hate winter" from my mind and mouth. Join me in once again appreciating the beauty of winter and let's Come Alive Outside even when the snow is blowing and it would be more comfortable to stay snuggled up inside.
Linda Coors, Director of Training
Do you have a story to share about why you enjoy winter now or maybe a childhood memory? Tell us about it in the comment space below.