Saturday, January 4, 2014

Not Channeling Vivaldi

I have a memory as a small child (emphasis on the small) living in Belford, New Jersey, and perhaps it's the vagaries of my memory or of global warming and its consequences, but I always remember the winters of my youth as ferocious with huge amounts of snow.

The winter in Belford I'm struggling to remember has a distinct recollection of my digging paths in our backyard with the snow piled high around me, literally over my head. Does that mean we had a lot of snow or was I the runt of the litter before my parents had a litter?

Believe me when I tell you my animus towards snow is not a passing fad. I gave up downhill skiing in my teens and never took to cross-country. I had terrible ankles before I had broken ones so ice skating has never been attractive and I'm far too brittle to be any good at sledding or snowboarding.

A year spent North of the Arctic Circle keeping an eye on Ivan the Russian Bear at the Top of the World, in Sondrestrom, Greenland, did not improve my affection for winter at all.

It was already below zero when we stepped off the C-130 in September 1975, and totally dark which it remained until some point in February of '76 (very bicentennial of the weather I thought) but not before it went to -75 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas Eve and stayed there for three weeks with winds off the ice cap at greater than 50 miles an hour. Felt like one of Santa's elves.

I've always lived where we have four seasons, even if I think Vivaldi laid it on a little thick, at least for my taste, and while I kvetch about it and rub liniment on to sore muscles I didn't realize before snow shoveling that I even had, I do get the chance, as I did yesterday in the late afternoon when any hope of warmth from the sun was as cold as the winds blowing around me, to look around at where I live and smile at my own good fortune.

Hope you can smile throughout this first weekend of 2014.
-bill kenny 

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