I used to love the snow.
As a kid living in western Washington, we rarely got it. When it did snow, it was cause for celebration. One of the reasons we moved was the year-round rain but after one winter here, we are cured of the love of snow.
We now live in a land of extremes between hot and cold. Fall and spring seem fleeting here. The blistering heat, wildfires, and droughts of summer quickly give way to cooler temperatures and sprinkles that seem to last a few days and fall is done.
Our first winter here was brutal as we weren’t prepared. The cold crept into our travel trailer through every tiny crack and we had to put up insulation along the walls of our canvas pullouts. I remember lying in bed one summer night while we were still on the road when I realized with horror that we might have to spend the winter in a cardboard box with cloth walls on the ends.
I was right to be anxious.
Our water pipes froze and I had to systematically hunt down drafts and cold spots and cram whatever I could find into crevices and holes to keep warm. With the water pipes frozen, I had to wash the dishes outside in ice-cold water I’d gotten from the spring.
We couldn’t drive our truck up our almost mile-long driveway because our four wheel drive was broken so we had to trek back and forth along it’s length with our groceries, gas and propane tanks.
I wrote a poem about winter that year: Cold.
I’m not looking forward to all of the work ahead of us to prepare.
I made a to-do list last week. We have to put plastic over the windows, skirt the RV, take down the tent we never used after I set it up last summer, hang all of the extension cords, and stockpile the wood.
Today we bought an ax to dispatch the trees on the hillside for firewood.
I worry a lot about winter but I remind myself that we’re better prepared than last year and I try to focus on thoughts of sledding, making snow sculptures and of course, Christmas.
Although I’m not looking forward to the cold weather, I’m looking forward to sitting by the fireplace and writing while the snow falls outside – and being able to wash my dishes inside.