On this Winter Solstice

I grew up in Rhode Island.

Though Rhode Island did not have the winters of New Hampshire or Maine in northern New England, we did have our share of snow storms.  

The legendary “Blizzard of ’78.” I remember Dad taking my sled to get groceries at the IGA ~1mi away that was running on generators. From the Providence Journal.

The snowstorms were magical to me.

The world was quiet and peaceful. I remember looking up from our living room at night. The street lamp would illuminate the softly falling flakes coming down. The world took on a Fairie-tale like quality for at least a few hours.

My brothers and I would wake up to a blanket of white the following morning.  We’d listen to 63 WPRO and Salty Brine to hear those magical words of “No School Coventry!”

School would be canceled.  Sledding would be done, and snow forts would be built.  And more than few snowball fights commenced.

And when it was time to go back to school, “King of the Mountain” contests would occur during recess at the piled up snowbanks in the church parking lot. Until the Nuns put a kibosh on it, that is. 🙂

Winter was fun. Time to be outside and play.

But I lost that sense fun for winter when I became older.  Snow meant shoveling the wet and heavy New England snow off a driveway. Or driving the icy roads before or after the jobs I held in my teens and early twenties.

Winter was not fun. It was a hindrance.  Something to get done with as we waited for the Summer season to start. And be by the ocean.

Then I moved to Colorado. I snowshoed a bit; I winter backpacked some.

I learned to backcountry ski. And discovered hut trips.

Winter was fun again.

The mountains are covered in white. The tree branches hang low with the weight of snow. And I glide along it all on skis.

The landscape is beautiful and enticing.   And the sunsets over the winter mountains have no equal.

I am back in Colorado’s Front Range for the holiday week.  I’ll be going on a hut trip for a few days. And then doing some more skiing after.

The winter gods have finally graced us with snow. And many of us are happy.

I am back just in time for the Colorado winter. And it will be fun!

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6 years ago

Enjoy the peace out there.

Happy Holy-Days!

6 years ago

P.S. my Dad grew up in Providence RI, (born in 1938) so I grew up hearing plenty of stories about shoveling driveways and then going down to shovel off the pond or river to play hockey. Now days you barely see a kid or teenager outside without a partent, who also probably had to drag the kid out the door. (That includes my kids too, just so it doesn’t sound like I’m judging anyone else.)

Karl Gottshalk
Karl Gottshalk
6 years ago

Enjoy!!!! Merry Christmas!!!