Jan 10

Riding Cows and Hot Coco

This story, with the photo by Mya Burghardt of Essex High School, appeared in The Voice, in Feburary 2015.

I've been sitting here thinking:

how do I best describe my winter?

I could tell you about the snow

or the heavy blankets or the fuzzy socks.

Of course, I know YOU all know

about that sort of thing.


I think the best way

for me to describe my winter

is to tell you a tale of adventure:


I live on a paved road,

just feet from where it turns to dirt.

On that road,

a little ways down,

is a farm.

It isn't a particularly unique farm

to the majority of people:

It has a nice view,

there are green fields with cows,

and some other fields with corn.


Nothing terribly interesting.


But to me, it's a very special place.

There was one day,

one of those days where

you wake up 20 minutes late,

jump out of bed in a panic,

only too look outside

and see about ten feet of snow,

and crawl back into bed,

knowing that school's canceled.


I had gotten back up again at nine,

a novelty feeling for me,

and recieved a phone call.

I was soon bundled up in all my snow gear,

trudging along down the road.


In retrospect, the whole thing was

pretty insane.

Riding on the back of a 2,000 lb steer,

the only source of warmth said animal,

unable to see because it's a blizzard,

riding downhill through feet of snow,

taking three hours to go about half a mile and back.

I'm not going to lie,

it was kind of crazy.


But running back to my house,

farmer friend in tow,

doing front flips into snow banks to make body impressions,

walking in funny ways to make prints,

snow angels in the middle of the road,

our laughter the only sound

because of that special silencing power snow has.


Running back to my house,

both changing into my pajamas because

we are bad at preparation,

curling on the couch with hot cocoa

and about fifty marshmallows,

and marathoning Doctor Who...

this is one of my favorite memories.


And I know it isn't the best description

of my whole winter,

because obviously not every day is like that.

But I think

it best captures the attitude.

Because to me, 

winter is more than snow blanketing the ground

and soundless nights,

and skiing.

No, winter is hot coco and marshmallows,

and cuddles and bad TV.

It's peeling wet snowpants off

and shaking ice chunks out of your hair.

It's hot showers and numb toes

and fun with friends.

It's making kick-ass forts in snowbanks, 

and bringing ramen and warm cider out to it,

and camping out until your butt is frozen,

and going back inside and curling up in front of the fire.

Winter is the little things like

going through four pair of gloves in one day,

and pulling snow chunks out of your boots,

and pushing people into snowpiles.

It's falling on icy patches,

and laughing about hat hair,

and having a frozen nose,

and being unable to talk because your face is so numb.


Winter is more than a time of year to me.

Winter is the little things,

all the happy memories.

And winter... winter is pretty great.