When I was a kid time seemed to pass ever-so-slowly; summer seemed almMaple_natch_fost endless and by mid-August I suffered from the “there’s nothing to do” kid syndrome and actually looked forward to school starting. Until September actually arrived and school loomed on the more or less immediate horizon.
Now, in my sixth decade, I wish for time to slow down…just a little; this summer passed by in an eye-blink. A very rapid eye-blink at that. Already gone are those perfect 75° days with a light breeze stirring the leaves on the tree in our back yard and the delightful fragrance of our flowers wafting in and out of our consciousness.
In another such eye-blink winter will be upon us with all its delights. By delights, I’m waxing a little ironic; I don’t mean that first significant snowfall deadening the ambient sound of the city and giving the neighborhood a distinct Hallmark-card appearance. Or our simple pine-laurel and (electric) six-candle-light Christmas decorations making the snow sparkle on the front porch; I like that…a lot.
I mean the weeks of windchill, the days of driving on ice, the gallons of windshield-wiper solvent, and the salt-residue-covered car. The long months of long nights and short days, the breath-stealing winds at -5° howling through the leafless trees, the furnace fighting off the cold with the drafts of a 152 year-old house fighting the efforts of the furnace, returning home to the six inches of snow (that the city expects me to have cleared within 24 hours), and that neighbor who has his snow cleared down to the concrete sidewalk ten minutes after the snow stops…what a jerk!
Not all share my opinion of winter, many of my hardier neighbors like winter for the outdoor activities and Saint Paul has winter activities for those folks: the Como Park Ski Center provides cross-country trails, snowboarding and downhill skiing, and ice climbing and ice skating. And then there is the Winter Carnival!