Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Optimism

It's January now, the heart (or armpit, depending on your mood) of winter. Weather that just flirted with ferocity before now stops kidding around and gets down to business freezing the bejeepers out of you. But in this land of contradictions, not every day is bad. In fact, there can be stretches of very tolerable weather (note to California readers: "tolerable" means "colder than you thought humanly possible").

So you can expect to spend quite a bit of your time hunkered down inside trying to stuff a heater up your shirt. But then there will be days when the sun shines, the temperature rises above zero, the wind slackens, and you venture forth for some winter sports.

It was just one of those days a couple weeks ago that we were invited to a sledding party out at the Walikonis farm. There was quite a group of us; we brought some friends and a family came from church. Part of the adventure was driving out there, since I hadn't been there in almost two years and then I was only following someone else. This time I was the fearless leader, since the other family members had never been out there.

We made it OK, but not without a bit of second-guessing on my part. Thankfully, the group behind me couldn't hear my low-level panicking, so they thought I actually knew where I was going. And everyone in MY car was sworn to secrecy.

The Walikonis farm nestled next to some very nice hills; they are a very good windbreak, but they also make some nice sledding runs. We were lazy bums and stuck with the hill right by the house, but there were plenty of more exciting options to choose from. However, one trek up the "easy" hill was enough to convince me that I didn't actually need more excitement---not when more excitement meant steeper hills and longer hikes!

Our adventurers took a moment for a group shot before commencing to sled. It was a good thing, because some of our sledders were not long for the hill. Poor little Asia got to make one run down the hill, but wiped out on the second one. Her leg hurt too much to sled anymore, and later we found out that she had a fracture on her right leg. So now she is wearing a hot pink cast instead of a snow suit.

The rest of us had lots of fun sledding down the hill while Asia languished inside. I know, we're just mean that way. Devon was borrowing a snowboard and had lots of fun whizzing down the slope like Shaun White. If Shaun White were snowboarding in a farmyard. I got plenty of runs in on my royal sled---still the fastest beast around.

Of course it's impossible combine a group of juveniles and snow without having a snow fight at some point!

After everyone got cold and tired, we had a lovely meal inside, cooked by the wonderful Jeanne Walikonis herself. Everyone stuffed themselves and had a great time before we reluctantly headed back to town. I know, eat and run, but there was no way I was trying to find my way back in the dark!

So that is how we can spend a good day in the winter. But for every good day, it seems there are about 10 bad ones. Days when you look back with longing nostalgia for the balmy temperatures of 10-15 degrees. Days when the wind blows so fiercely that your flesh feels like it's freezing within seconds of walking outside and it hurts to breathe the air. Days that look like this...

My house during the blizzard two weeks ago. It's there. Really.

Up to my hips after the storm.

But no matter how cold or miserable it gets, there's one thing you can always count on....Spring is coming and no storm or cold snap or blizzard can get in its way.

Time to start ordering from the seed catalogs!

1 comment:

  1. brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. while you were doing that I was roving around New Orleans!