Wintertime in Rural Arkansas, Part 3

I think this will wrap up my winter reflections about growing up in the 50s rural Arkansas. Regardless to what you may have perceived as my negative views about winter, I don’t want to leave the impression that everything was on the down side. I certainly didn’t stay cooped up in the house all winter. The truth is, I did enjoy some of winter…and some, I didn’t enjoy, but overall, every season, including winter, is okay with me. For one, there’s the beauty of change that each season brings and the “in-between times” can be gorgeous. I love to see Autumn turn into winter, and winter turn into a warm, beautiful, colorful spring, and then have springtime prepare us for the long, hot, hazy days of summer. Now, back to winter. The thrill of the first snow fall brought all of us out of the house. We’d trek through the woods, engage in snowball fights, play games such as making tracks (in the snow) where anyone following the leader was suppose to step only in his/her tracks, thus appearing that only one person had traveled that route. Then, if there was ice on the porch, we’d skate, which incidentally, resulted in my first serious fall (one that came back to haunt me in later years as the “ghost” of lower back pain), but still, at that time, it was a fun fall, and the memory of that long glide across that solid ice porch lingers lovingly in my memory. Thankfully, the back pain has been long gone. We didn’t own a camera back then, so I’ve stored mental images in my mind of winter scenes such as icicles hanging from the tin-top roof. To my childhood mind, it was always a mystery how they formed so long and twisted and crystal clear. Come to think of it, I don’t remember that we ever snagged one. They were too high on the porch top to reach without someone holding us up to get one. And to my recollection, no one ever held us up, so I don’t suppose we grabbed any. Now, whenever I reflect on winter, I see snow-covered landscapes and pine needles overlaid with ice, their thin, spindle-like “fingers” drooping toward the ground. For a day or two, or sometime three, our world was white with beauty that would soon melt away with the first puff of a warmer, southern wind. Spring would finally gently push winter away.