I do not like snow. I especially do not care for cold weather. Once I get cold I do not warm up until spring. The coldest activity I have consented to is cold sitting with a shotgun on my lap, otherwise known as deer hunting. At least while I am doing that I am in a hunting blind with a heater. Yes, I am spoiled. Snow was more tolerable for me when I was younger. Being in the Boy Scouts meant there were plenty of winter time activities that I participated in. Home life’s functional monotony was paralyzing. So any chance to be active was a welcome change even if it meant enduring subzero temperatures. One of my most memorable camping trips was one my troop braved during a winter advisory that said if it is not an emergency do not leave the house. We spent a day sliding and frolicking on frozen Van Ettan Lake in Oscoda, Michigan.
As I got older there was less opportunity to play in the snow. I do not know anyone that owns a snowmobile and large plot of land on which to play. I am not friendly with snow bunnies that like to slide their way downhill with a couple of boards and two sticks. I almost purchased a snowboard last winter. After hearing that I would spend most of my time picking myself up out of the snow I recoiled from the idea. I have reached that point in my life when aches and pains are a constant. Injuries never really seem to heal. I had allowed age and fear to increase my inhibitions.
I decided to try to change my attitude towards snow. Instead of thinking of it as white dirt dumping from the sky wreaking havoc, I will try to rediscover my inner child full of boundless enthusiasm, find joyful fun in the cold stuff instead of focusing on high heat bills and the potential of another stroke from shoveling. If I am going to be around this stuff I should try to enjoy it more. My heating bill is through the roof, literally. I can feel the cold air rushing in around my doors and windows in my crooked house. Cold happens, let’s play.
I asked a friend who takes her young son sledding if I could join them. She had reservations about my condition. I am ‘old’ and have recently had some back problems. I reassured her rather unconvincingly that I would be alright. I must say, I do not remember climbing back up the hill being so difficult. However, going down the hill reminded me how thrilling it is to just be a kid. I slid, skidded, bounced, sprayed frigid snow in my face, fell and triumphed. Seeing others enjoy themselves sliding, slipping, skipping, bouncing and falling down the hill brought warmth on a cold fun filled Michigan snow day. I came away unscathed and with new fond memories to put with some of the old.
Melik is an actor and a
comedian. He also writes poetry . He is currently writing about his experience being under 40 and being a stroke survivor. He may be contacted at