Love Your Snowpocalypse
TODAY’S BREW: Anything hot.
I loved Kristen’s post yesterday, and so today I shall expand upon it. BEHOLD AS I EXPAND UPON IT.
Kristen and I grew up together in a lovely apartment complex that boasted of a kickass pool, tennis courts we used for roller skating in, endless woods to get in trouble in, and hundreds of homes to trick or treat at. Summers there were pretty fantastic. We spent all day at that pool, tormenting the adults and life guard, rain or shine, ordering subs there, blaring the radio and playing cards, and treating it like it was our home. I’m sure everyone just loved that. A band of nightmare girls taking over their pleasant sunbathing experience.
This love of our childhood summers spurred Kristen to write SEASONS IN THE SUN.
Well, I am a lover of winter. The flip side of our summers in the apartment complex were the amazing winters. Going out on your cookie cutter balcony after a fresh snow to yell to your friends on their matching balconies. Bundling up, meeting a bunch of hooligans outside, and starting your snow adventures. It felt like we always had a mountain of snow then, to kick around, have snowball fights in, build snowmen, and just plod through to each other’s apartments. Because there were so many of us kids, we had amazing Christmases. First of all you got to see dozens of Christmas trees, so you felt like you were always visiting family for Christmas, even just hanging out at your friends’ after school. And on Christmas day after opening presents we’d all run from one apartment to another, playing with each other’s new goodies and just being together. It was such an incredible feeling, to have a community like that. We all were like family, and our families took care of each other.
Also, we had this hill. It was really 3 hills in one, and it was HIGH. We’d pile a few of us in each sled to make sure we got to the end of it, where there was a boulder that launched us into the air. Catching wind was great until you slammed either into the apartment building in front of you, or into the bushes in front of the bottom floor window. And if it sucked for us, you’d better believe it proably sucked for the residents of said apartment. Note: Kristen once sprained her arm on this hill and kicked in a headlight out of anger.
Behind the apartment complex was basically a cliff. It was probably some 50 feet high, and covered in trees. But we managed to forge a path down it, a thin one that really was treacherous, but served our purpose. Our purpose was this: to take advantage of the ice slick that it became in the shade of the trees every time it got cold, and propel ourselves down it on our asses until we hit the ground next to the street below, or a tree.
I actually preferred this to sledding. I destroyed a crap ton of pants doing this, much to my literally poor parents’ chagrin, but I managed to hide several of these pairs in our cookie cutter closets.
The danger of this mission would be horrifying to a parent today. I will take a picture next time I go that way to show you the insanity of this. I don’t know how we even thought of it, but ye gods did I enjoy it. We always took care of each other, even though we might beat the crap out of one another later, and made sure we got out safely to bombard one of our clan’s homes for cup after cup of hot chocolate.
Memories like this are what turned me into a lover of snow and cozying up with people you love in the graying day to watch MTV, sitcoms and movies and read or write some stories. (ahem. How the Undead Duo began.) Winter to me was always the time I felt the most loved. The time when I felt the most togetherness, and comfort. I’m sure it had something to do with why RUNNING HOME takes place in the winter woods of New England, at Christmas.
I wanted this book to feel like the home I always had, full of extended family that you put together yourself. Holding the book in my hand now, it feels like something that grew up with me, that was always inside. The memories it evokes of baking, hot chocolate, colored lights at dusk, that waiting for Christmas morning that fueled every word out of your mouths for a month, it all poured into this book.
So while Kristen says let’s celebrate summer this winter, I say let’s celebrate winter this winter. Remember all the things you loved as a kid about that first snow, and feel free to hide inside your layers and gloves and hats. When you’re shoveling, think of that feeling when you sit under a blanket that night with a hot cup of cocoa with a loved one, and a good book. Go to a warm bed and dream of what little bit of danger you can get into the next cold day. I’ll be you can wait for summer to come after that.