Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow day

Seen in the Skymall magazine: Inflatable snow castle, $130.

“A real snow castle would take hours to build and require lots of snow. Much more than just a snow fort, our castle encourages children to use their imaginations while having hours of fun.”

Use their imaginations? How? Blowing it up?
Your mom bundled you up in your heaviest winter coat and what we called “leggings” back in the 70’s. For your feet, it was two pairs of socks, plus the embarrassing yet obligatory empty plastic bread bags (to keep your feet dry and make it easier to slip boots on), plus your heavy black snowmobile boots.

To top it off, you were wrapped in a long colorful scarf crocheted with Much Love by your grandma, accompanied by a matching hat and mittens.

I remember hating the wet smell of those thick felt inserts that came with your snowmobile boots.
Of course a snow fort takes hours to build.

The best part about building a snow fort was actually BUILDING it.

You and your brother stayed out in the snow for hours and even though it was really, really cold, you were sweating your asses off.

Your mittens were wet and caked with bits of ice and snow but you stayed out ‘til it was finished, usually after dark.

It was one of those rare, blissful times when you and your sibling weren’t fighting like cats and dogs. You worked as a team, stopping only briefly to consult each other on architecture and construction issues.
I remember always feeling a little sad once we finished the fort.

Because what do you then? Sit in it?

“This is fun. We’re sitting here, in our fort. Weeeeee.”
Then, it was the reluctant trek to the house.

Your mom pressing her soft, warm hands against your cold, pink cheeks.

Stripping to your underwear by the back door as she gathered up your wet, heavy winter wear.

That great feeling of fresh dry socks on your feet.

Then giant mugs of hot chocolate – the aroma enough to warm you from the inside out.

That's what building a snow fort is all about. And it's worth way more than $130 for sure.
I am listening to: Bi-weekly sales status
I am reading: Steinberg in the Sun-Times
And I am: Snowed in.


Susan said...

I have an invaluable 81 year old friend and he sternly believes that kids these days suffer from "depression" because they don't get out there and have physical fun!! For the love of God - I spent ALL my childhood summers and most of the winters outside - sweating, freezing, having fun and being a kid. I remember one great snowy day when my dad hooked up a piece of sheet metal to the back of his truck and pulled us around the open field next door - yes, a piece of SHARP sheet metal - no helmets, protective gear - nothing....okay, in hindsight that probably wasn’t too smart – but Boy I still vividly remember that!!