It is hard for me to get excited about winter any more. Everything in Missouri turns drab and brown. All of the water troughs freeze and chores involve carrying buckets (and more buckets) from the bathtub to the animals in the early morning. Ice and snow make for treacherous driving conditions, and getting into town can become an ordeal. And it takes about half an hour to make sure everyone is bundled up sufficiently for a daily walk, so we can all try to shake off our cabin fever.
I guess I have grown up too much. Or maybe that is just part of winter in the mid-west. My childhood winters in Canada were so much more exciting. I am not sure how much of that was because there were more winter activities available, or because I was a happy-go-lucky kid and typically everything that is troublesome for adults is an adventure for children.
I don't remember it being a hassle to put on ten layers of clothing before going out to build snow forts. Back then I was light enough to dance on the crusty top layer of snow without falling through, and hikes through the woods were like skipping through a fairy land. Freezing my toes off while ice fishing maybe wasn't my perfect cup of tea, but I sure enjoyed the hot chocolate and roaring fire afterward. Sledding, snowball fights, skiing, rosy cheeks, warm pajamas... winter back then was magic.
I need to remember that magic. Remember to see it as an adventure and encourage that in my kids.
The other day I was sorting through pictures from my camera and came across these shots from a rainy, wintry hike in November. Many months ago when winter was still a novelty (sort of). It was a good reminder for me that there is beauty in the cold. Usually better viewed from inside, while sipping on hot tea and wearing fuzzy socks. But nevertheless, beauty. And adventure.