They say it’s time to come in from the cold.
Like a hunter in the tall reeds, winter has decidedly pounced in full flagrance here in our chapter of the woods. It matters not that we had extra time to prepare, its icy claws have found their mark, drawing shivers from our warm bloodedness like metal filings to a lodestone, instantly harkening avalanches of gelid memories when the season visited early and overstayed its welcome.
Although there are quite the number of frostbit snowbirds that head south or remain indoors, for the most part we are a hearty bunch of snowhawks in Upstate New York with an iron chin to take a punch and a flexible spine to endure the wild winds from every direction. Do they not still camp out in the streets of downtown Syracuse to protest the inequalities between Wall and Main Street?
What kind of beings, in all the universe, willingly trot out a groundhog for a live microphone, a camera crew and the whole viewing audience to watch it flub its unscripted lines, not entirely unlike the more educated meteorologist personnel on retainer the rest of the year?
Perhaps uplifted by the childlike positivism of cart-wheeling windmills on the hillsides or the kick lines of trees coquettishly undressed for the occasion, we embark daily with our plows and shovels as if they were appendages of seasonal antlers, as if we were all Edward Snowmanhands, sculpting frozen cartoons for the kids upon the landscape.
Salty drizzles of slushies are drying on children’s cheeks in hopes that skiing season will return. Northfaces are paraded like war medals on steeds of Uggs skating on Icepads and Icepods. Who else has a Winterfest? Smoothies are replaced with hot cocoas and jelly beans with snowballs. Lip balm becomes the oral fixation of choice.