I didn't always associate snow with good things. I grew up with the expectation that a snowy winter simply meant lots of "hard physical labor." One year as a joke, my dad gave us snow shovels as Christmas presents and said, "Take these for a spin!" (He wasn't really joking) I can remember many winters during my childhood and teenage years where it was bitterly cold, and we had to start our car half an hour before going anywhere, just to make sure the engine was warm enough not to stall. And oh - the shovelling! It never ended.
There were some winters though, where I just got to be a kid. I loved sledding down our trails in the woods, but was sometimes crazy enough to try sledding down the bluff, too. That took some skill, dodging boulders and trees! I also loved ice skating on rare occasions when we had a mid-winter thaw, and a pond would develop in the low ground of neighboring fields. When it froze over, it turned into the perfect ice rink. The best times, however, were when the snow was wet and heavy - perfect for making snow sculptures and forts. My sister and I tried to outdo each other with our elaborate sculptures. We never made a generic snowman - it was always a horse, a dragon, or something challenging.
The longer I live in Dallas, the more I appreciate my once-home in the Midwest. I realize how much more glorious and pronounced each of the seasons are, in turn. One would never appreciate spring so much, if it weren't for the bitter cold of winter. My perspective has changed.
Knowing my time in Wisconsin was limited, I braved the cold to do a painting. Here are my efforts from several days ago. These pictures give you an idea of just how much snow there was.
The finished painting, "Winter Adornments" (10x8, oil on linen panel), is just awaiting a signature, and a new home. :-) I can honestly say that along with much-needed fellowship with family and friends, the cold air and snow were a welcome break from everyday life. Perhaps someday Steve and I will move back to the Midwest and it will be our "normal" once again...