Snow is wonderful to watch. One of my greatest pleasures involves sitting by the window with a steaming cup of Irish coffee as the snow drifts from the sky and blankets the grass with a sheet pure white. I can sit back in the sun room (or is that snow room) and watch a snowball fight as the icy projectiles explode on impact with snow forts, snowmen, and snow covered children. Let’s get one thing clear: watching is all I like about the snow.
My friend, Alexey, lives in Russia. To be more accurate, he lives in Siberia. That is the place where Americans imagine gulags with political dissidents slaving away and freezing their booties off. Alexey lives in Novosibirsk, a city of over a million people. My city of Knoxville doesn’t even have half that many people. A generous estimate may have a third that many. Alexey and I have different “latitude attitudes”. I define cold as anything below 10 Celsius or 50 Fahrenheit. He defines cold as anything below -10 Celsius or 14 Fahrenheit. He loves to spend time out in the snow doing whatever they do in the snow in Russia.
If I have to go out and play in the snow, I dread it. It is not that I don’t like making a snowman. It’s fun. Mine is named Fred. It is not that snow forts are not fun to build and hide in. I made the snow Alamo once as a kid and pretended to be Davy Crockett, but with snow instead of bullets. It was a lot less painful and mortal. Snowball fights are great, but I am nervous about them since I saw a commercial with pitcher Randy Johnson in a snowball fight several years ago. Those really are fun but it is not my idea of a perfect day.
Sitting by the window and watching other people while I keep warm by the fire and even warmer with an Irish coffee is what really excites me. It is not the cold that bothers me. That’s not bad. It is not being wet that bothers me. Swimming is something that I love. But just thinking about being cold AND wet makes me quake to my aging bones. Sure, you can say that it’s all about having fun, getting cold and coming back in and warming up by the fire with some hot cocoa. I have a different plan. Have fun inside, drink the cocoa and skip the getting cold and wet part. Works for me!