Here in the Northeast we are famous for loads of ice and snow in winter. Ski resorts are bustling with thousands of skiers and snow boarders, and you can find ice skaters and hockey players on nearly every lake and pond.
Everyone has put away all their summer clothes, and we all trudge around in down coats, scarves, hats, mittens and snow boots. And then there is the winter wind that always finds a way to sneak its icy fingers down our necks and into our boots. Just going out of the house means at least ten minutes or so to bundle up.
But every so often, we get what we call a “soft winter.” That means little snow and ice and unexpectedly warmish days. It’s sort of a gift that you can’t always count on, and for us older folks, a soft winter is a good thing. We worry less about slipping on icy stairs or having to deal with several feet of snow. We worry less about catching a cold, getting frostbite and so on.
Mind you, it’s not an invitation to go outside in your shorts and a t-shirt. When I was in high school, the prevailing “thing” for teens was to walk around in the snow barefoot. Yep, I mean it: barefoot. Although I was generally a slave to fashion in those days, I never once did that. If I had, my parents would have shut me up in the loony bin, saying “we raised you to use your head!”
But getting back to our current dry winter, it’s nice to know that I can still walk down to the pond (for now, anyway) if I want to. It’s good to enjoy the day without any extremities freezing and dropping off onto the ground. It’s sort of a spring-like feeling, even though we know that there will eventually be snow and ice.
Who knows: we may get a blizzard tomorrow. But for now, it’s a welcome soft winter day up here in the Northeast.