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By Leslie Fandrich // Theme: Winter // Category: Life Stories

It had been snowing all day. I escaped my parent's house and went over to my friend Michelle's. We drank gin and tonic and soon her small apartment was filled with our friends. By 11 pm there was three feet of fluffy powder outside and we all went for a walk. Drunk. In three feet of snow. There were no cars. The snow glowed a faint orange from the street lights. We walked in the middle of the road.

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Bundled from head to toe in snow pants, boots, mittens, a scarf and a hat, my sister and I dug rooms out of the snow in our front yard and played house for hours. I loved sculpting chairs out of snow. We came in wet and cold and Mom made us hot chocolate with marshmallows. 

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He dared me. I stuck out my tongue and touched the metal of the slide as quickly as I could. It didn't stick, but it bled where a small piece of my tongue got torn off.

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I walked to school every day less than ten blocks. That day it was so cold that when I got home and took off my snow pants my legs were red and they burned fiercely as they warmed up.

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New York is very quiet after a snow storm. The snow falls in big flakes and covers all the garbage. It's beautiful.

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Snow angels are hard to make when you are a grown up. Sledding hurts more too. But it's still fun.

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It was with a mixture of contentedness and longing that I watched my husband lead my oldest son on a snowy adventure outside while I stayed inside by the fire with our five month old baby.

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Tilting my face up to the sky and catching snow flakes on my tongue.


“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
— Edith Sitwell
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I can smell the snow coming. There is something in the air. It smells sharp and like nothing else. 

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By the time it occurred to me to go outside and check for prints in the snow, it was already dark and far too cold. The next day there was a fresh layer of snow and it was impossible to see anything in the snow, but under the tree, there was an almost horizontal hole in the snow that was the exact size of a dog’s paw.

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Snow blankets and softens, it whispers and howls, it piles and drifts.

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My family were not skiers but in grade eight my school went on a ski field trip and I begged to go with my friends. I rented skis and went up and down the hill all day. With each run I got bolder and braver. On the last run I followed my friends down a black diamond run. It was icy at the top and I did five cartwheels down the hill before landing on my back. I laid there, looking up at the sky and I swore I'd never ski again.

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Winters in Canada when I was a child were solidly cold and below freezing for five months. It would snow before Halloween and we wouldn't see the grass or dirt until April or May. When spring would arrive, it was a magical time of melting and dripping and birds chirping. The snow drifts would slowly retreat, the sun would feel warm again on my skin and I couldn't wait to peel off the layers of clothes.


“There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.”
— Ruth Stout