Winter Wonderland

Even though Winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, it’s already making itself known in many parts of the country. A friend in Montana has been posting pictures and weather updates on Twitter every morning, and it is bitter cold there. Temps in the single digits. And snow. Lots of snow falling almost every day that he writes about the morning.

Montana isn’t the only state that has snow already. Family in Michigan said the white stuff is falling there, too.

There won’t be snow here in NE Texas, but temps are dropping below freezing at night. Now I start the daily routine of covering some of my plants for the night, then uncovering them in the morning so they can get some sunlight. I don’t mind the extra chores, though, as I enjoy the flowers, and pansies will live all winter if I don’t let them freeze.

Purple and white pansies in a flowerpot.

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Slim Randles is my guest today with this touching essay about snow and kids and fun. Enjoy…

Wouldn‘t it be nice to come and go like gentle snow? Not the hard, wind-driven kind, but the soft kind … the kind that’s nice to kids and dogs. The kind of snow that builds up slowly on the porch railing until it is about six inches deep and bereft of bird tracks.

Snow on a fence-line and on trees.

Then we can scoop some into big cups and pour some syrup or honey on it and once again taste our way back to childhood. We can do it even when our beards are as gray as mine is these days.

I’m told a lot of folks hate seeing those black and gray clouds moving in. For them, it means a cessation of warmth, a lack of green. It means the swimming hole down on Lewis Creek will belong to the muskrats and the huge trout we call The Lunker. For a few months, anyway.

But children have a grand time in gentle snow. It’s the time of snowmen, and snowball fights, of sliding down the hill on your sled.

We’ll go down a steeper hill this year so we can be really fast.

It gets dark early these days, of course, but somehow that’s not really a problem. Through the vagaries of the mysterious onset of winter, we discover that darkness shuts down our outdoor fun at about the same time Mom has supper ready.

It’s a blending of times.

It’s a magical mix that makes us jump out of bed each morning to see if there’s new snow outside. We can handle it, you know. We don’t even talk about it. Somehow that would be profaning the experience.

Because soft, gentle snow tucks us in for the winter and makes us feel loved. It is a gift … just for us.

It’s magic.

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Brought to you by Dogsled, A True Tale of the North, by Slim Randles.

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Author headshot - Slim Randles. Man wearing a cowboy hat.

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy, dog musher, and an all-around good guy. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books and the host of two podcasts and a television program.

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