Winter? Not Fun

Do you have any first day of winter/first snowfall traditions?

One of our foxes asked that question for this week, and it definitely had me stumped. We get plenty of snow here in West Michigan, but I honestly can’t think of any traditions connected with the first day of winter or the first snowfall.

December 21, the first day of winter, was almost a month ago. Back when I was teaching elementary school I’d often search for winter-related materials, but since we’d be preparing for Christmas parties and the holiday break, I wouldn’t actually use those materials until January. Now that I’m on a college schedule I’m on vacation by that time, so I’m at home preparing for our family holiday gatherings.

tobagganingOur family has never been into outdoor activities, and that’s especially true in winter. We don’t ski, sled, or ice skate on a regular basis. I know we made snowmen once or twice – but that’s it. Basically, all I remember about being in the snow was walking as quickly as I could manage so that I could get back inside. When my kids were young I used to take them to a place nearby called Charlie’s Dump – it’s a huge bowl in the earth where local kids go to use their sleds, tobaggans, and snowboards. There are benches at the top for parents to sit, but I usually sat in my car (once the kids were old enough to be on their own) or told them I’d be back in an hour or two. Now that they’re adults they can get themselves to whatever activities they like, but I haven’t heard them say anything about doing outdoor things.

hot cocoaI do remember the kids drinking hot cocoa after they’d come in from the cold. Since I taught in a different school district than the one my children attended, I wasn’t there to see it, but fortunately my husband was (he worked the 3 am to noon shift, so he was always home before the kids). Our house was only three blocks away from the elementary school, and sometimes they would invite a friend or two to come in and have a cup before braving the cold for the rest of the walk home. We always made sure we were always well stocked with cocoa mix and marshmallows.

winter drivingAs an adult, winter weather simply means bad driving conditions. I’ve had more than my share of white-knuckle trips to work, appointments, and rehearsals. I’ve had more than a few near-misses, and times when I doubted my sanity for sitting behind the wheel. So I guess I do have one winter tradition: looking forward to it all going away!

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About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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22 Responses to Winter? Not Fun

  1. jeff7salter says:

    gosh, this will be a tricky topic for me, also. Who knows what will pop into my head before Hound Day?
    It’s a shame you were not able to teach in the same school system as your kids. But fortunate that your husband’s shift allowed one of the parents to be home when they got in from school.
    I do love hot chocolate on a cold day, after I’ve been outside! But the “instant” cocoa doesn’t quite cut it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How nice that your kids’ friends could stop in for a cup of hot chocolate before heading home. My middle child prefers instant hot chocolate, my youngest is a homemade (on the stove milk and cocoa powder) kind of kid, while my oldest likes the cocoa machine my mom gave us (add milk and a candy var of choice to get your cocoa).

    Charlie’s Dump is an unusual name for a sledding spot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I think my daughters enjoyed this chance to have friends over. They’ve always been sociable. Charlie’s Dump is an area in town that long ago belonged to a man named Charlie. He sold it to the township, who used it as a dump for several years. Later on the city cleaned all the trash out, and left this huge pit in the ground. Now, it’s a county park – in the summertime they have soccer games at the bottom of the bowl (that’s how big the pit is!) and in the winter people sled down the sides to the bottom.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was child, it used to snow on my birthday – every year. From what my Granny told me, it had started when I was born. As I got older, it did not snow on my birthday anymore. I must admit, that saddened me a bit.

    As for winter traditions, I really do not have one. Well, I suppose building on snowman with the first snow counts. Right? I am not one to love cold weather. I like my weather neutral. 🙂 Despite my allergies and sinus issues year round, I prefer spring and fall. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeanne says:

    Still seems weird to me that 21 December is the first day of SUMMER here. Supposed to get up to 95F today. Even in winter, it hardly ever gets down to freezing, so no snow ever. A couple of winters ago, the average temperature was in the 50sF. Warmest winter on record.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      As much as I dislike winter weather, I think it would be odd to not have it at all – not that I wouldn’t be willing to experience it! And it would take some adjustment to have my seasons totally switched – unless I could spend half the year in one hemisphere, and half in the other! Thanks for visiting, Jeanne.

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  7. How nice for you to welcome all the kids in! My mother’s house was a haven for many of the neighborhood kids, and some of my sister’s who could come in from farther. I always had my sons’ friends in.It’s been trickier with the grandkids, but #2 Son is now bringing in some of his fellow college students.
    I’ll have to give this some thought for Friday.

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    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      My husband always believed that it was much better to put up with the noise than to wonder what the kids were up to somewhere else! When one of my daughters went to college out of state, she’d often bring a friend home with her on vacations. It’s good that they feel comfortable bringing people here.

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      • That was always my mother’s philosophy and it was mine…and yes, I am very well-pleased that my sons’ friends felt welcome here, and still do.I am always greeted warmly by their old school and Scout friends, even though they are all over 30 now.

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