It seems winter, with all its white-on-white chilly frosting, has arrived.
As usual, I’m not very seasonal and I found myself on the day of the first great white snowstorm trying desperately to pull a snow shovel out of the shed where it was lodged somewhere behind the lawnmower.
“You’re not very well prepared,” someone said jokingly. I was prepared to be all offended, except he was at the other end of the snow shovel when he said it.
Was it really only a week or two ago my son and I had winterized the back yard, storing hoses, cleaning out flowerbeds and stacking lawn chairs?
I was so proud. Now I can’t even find my snow shovel. Ice scrapers? Mitts? Boots? Where is all that stuff?
But, prepared or not, winter is here. And, no doubt, as usual it will be cold, harsh, unforgiving and last for a very long time.
Really it just goes from bad to worse.
But still there are — even in the deepest, darkest of winter — those moments that just seem so awesome; sort of like coming in from the cold to a room with a fireplace that crackles and snaps and emits heat of some sort.
Also, wrapping your fingers around a mug filled with something very hot like coffee or hot chocolate — or even better, some kind of alcoholic beverage that is guaranteed to warm your insides.
Anyway, these are those moments that are kind of like roses in December, except of course they may be buried under the snow, and you have to really look for them.
This year, I have already had a few such moments to warm me up.
For instance, I attended the Remembrance Day service in Red Deer, which was held outside. It seemed ridiculous for such a warm weather person as myself to even think about attending, but I did.
And there I was freezing, snapping pictures and, weirdly enough, feeling all warm and happy.
I’m sure it had to do with all the people who were walking up to my brother, who is a Korean War vet, and shaking his hand and saying thank you.
It was incredible, really, and it goes to show you that a person can feel proud, humble and slightly surprised all at once.
That was me, not my brother, whose smile was brighter than all his medals, so I’m guessing he was more than pleased with all the attention.
And then there was the baptism of my youngest grandson, Jacob.
When his mom handed the child, dressed in his little white christening outfit, to me after the event, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, I would have braved 100 snowstorms just to be there. As it was, there was only one, and as I was driving through it, I kept muttering to myself “I’ve driven in worse than this,” which I have, but for some reason, that thought didn’t seem all that comforting.
Anyway, it’s only just November and we have a long, long way to go before the time changes and the sun is, once again, benevolent, and the grass grows green and people sit on their decks and are all happy just because.
So, until that time, it’s best to find those moments, whatever they be, that keep you warm and happy, even when the thermometer goes a little crazy and registers some off-the-wall number that is far too cold to even write about.