Mother Nature came on with a vengeance this week to let us know that though it’s not officially winter, it has arrive, calendar or not. First was the cold, then the snow, which wasn’t due to arrive until late Sunday afternoon, but came in late in the morning instead. 

For me snow is pretty as long as I don’t have to go out in it or drive in it and the only sound that is music to my ears are the snowplows on the streets and snowblowers on the sidewalks. No, I’m not the winter grouch, but I’m not going out to make snow angels either.

In all honesty, our area is beautiful this year and conjures up memories of growing up here when one could not wait for the snowfall. Sledding was a must and what better place than Swan Pond, where there were no fences. You just jumped on your sled and took your chances. There even was a toboggan slide. 

Ice skating took place on the river — unless your parents flooded your backyard. Our backyard was low at the back and would freeze, giving us a patch of ice to skate on. Skating on the river was about your taking chances even though Bill Earl the recreation director would check out the surface to see if it was safe. Today, thanks to the Big Chill Group, skating is safe and fun at Big Ball Park. The group must have had a heads-up on the weather because they got the rink up in time. Now they just need to fill it and it’ll be good to go.

With scenes that could be featured on Christmas cards, one only needs to go along the river, thinking about how it looked over 100 years ago with horse-drawn sleighs as the mode of transportation. Today, one can put on a pair of cross-country skis and cover the same route while enjoying the same scenery.

This nostalgia trip reminded me of the winters when ski jumps were erected and a group from a ski club came and jumped. There was plenty of hot chocolate available. Today we can have a hot beverage of a more potent variety to keep us warm. 

Things have changed but much has remained the same — both are good things. Just put another log on the fire and add another blanket because winter is here, bringing with it memories of winters past.