Basking in winter

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I like winter. Call me crazy, blame it on the German roots or the years in Ohio, Colorado and Utah. Cold weather is invigorating - if we could only bottle the fresh clean air of a sparkling winter day.

There are many things that rank in my favorites. Some of my long-time favorites include, for flowers, purple irises like the ones that my mother grew and among fragrances, hands-down the scent of lilacs outside my sister’s and my bedroom window. My favorite food is home-cooked fried chicken, though no one makes it like my mom did, and my favorite color is undisputedly green.

But for a while I’ve been pondering, if truly pressed for an answer, what would I say is my favorite season. It’s taken some time, but I think I’ve finally arrived at my decision and that is, winter. Texas winter, that is. Not the dirty-packed-snow days that stretch out seemingly endlessly in other places through April. The kind followed by sunny 60- and 70-degree days. It is a season bookended by the spectacular fall sights and smells and also by spring’s rebirth and welcome warming days.

Again I think it must be in the genes. One of my sisters moved from Ohio and lived for years in Laramie, Wyoming, where she and my brother-in-law reveled in life there. I remember being stranded in a blizzard and staying with them. The force of Mother Nature didn’t prevent us from going to the town’s big social activity – a University of Wyoming basketball game. They also thought nothing of driving a hundred miles or so to go square-dancing.

I know that winter brings a lot of problems and inconveniences, though less than other places since we live in Texas. At least, you can always put more clothes on to get warm. And, in addition to the clean, fresh air, I like the sight of the trees completely bare of their leaves. In this state they have a different kind of fascinating beauty as they unfurl from the ground in silent dignity and strength. Texture and colors of bark become more noticeable.

Last Tuesday morning the snow created a gentle drift by our road and just as I passed my neighbor’s yard some rays of sunlight glistened off it. It sparkled like a thousand tiny diamonds. One of my friends took time to share on social media some splendid photos of a cardinal in the snow she had taken. And there was an abundance of photos of happy faces peering out from hooded coats, scarves and hats playing in the snow. One local man delights in sledding and to him I say, seize the day and pass the hot chocolate. I have to wonder if his delight of sledding stems from his boyhood and what memories it brings back. Mine are of tromping through snow-covered cornfields and woods as I accompanied my father rabbit hunting. For others, this is a time meant for settling down with a good book, making big pots of chili and nestling under heavy quilts.

After lots of careful consideration, I believe I can say winter would be my favorite season - at least for a few days.

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