By G. E. Shuman
Well, here it comes, again. For many of you, the fact that last Thursday, Thanksgiving Day 2014, brought about a foot of wet snow to the New England states, including ours, was a good thing. For you the snow is beautiful, as it hangs from the branches of the hillside trees. It just brightens your day to see the white stuff coming down out of the sky, and, as Robert Frost said, “filling up the woods with snow.” Also, for you who enjoy Vermont winters, that first storm is a harbinger of soon to be experienced snow machine rides, ski trips, and snowman-making afternoons with the kids. You see winter as a wonderland of sunshine sparkling off from frosted evergreen bows, and chestnuts roasting by an open fire.
I, truly, wish I could share your joy. The truth is, I find very little that I like about this time of year, and that is probably not good, as someone who has spent every one of the past 60 winters in the north. (How dumb is that?) To me, winter is just a very dangerous time up here. If you have children, and if those children have advanced to the age of driving around in the wonderful stuff of winter, you might know how I feel, especially if they are not very experienced drivers. I am a Christian guy, and truly, always try my best to trust God for the safety of my family members…but winter is a tough time for me to do that. It is true that He has always kept us, not necessarily from any accident, but from any resulting in injury. In fact, just a month ago our 20-year-old son was forced off the highway (at highway speeds), and into the median, by another car who didn’t see him in the passing lane. Andrew succeeded in doing damage to his car as he mowed down several mileage markers, but also got the car back on the highway, and drove home safely. I believe that God was responsible for that night not resulting in something much worse than a banged up car. Still, I am a human father, and will always be concerned for my kids as they drive. Andrew’s recent brush with being hurt, or worse, was all without that added danger of snow. I know that in the days and evenings to come my wife, my married-with-families kids, and my unmarried ones will be out there, facing ice, snow and cold, until the arrival of spring. I do need to remember that protection Andrew experienced a month ago, and attempt to have the faith that I have always told my family to have. See how much fun winter is for me?
You may agree with me about winter, or you may not. Maybe it’s just my age beginning to creep up on me, and the fact that my hair is now close to the color of the snow on the roof, but I do not welcome the cold, dangerous, pavement-icing season we are now entering. If you are a ‘winter person,’ you just keep on loving your time in the snow. I will keep on checking the weather and dreading bouts with my shovel and finicky snow blower. I, truly, don’t want to be a stick-in-the-mud. I would just rather be stuck in the mud than in a snowbank. And, if you could say a prayer for my family, I’ll say one for yours.
“George’s World,” a new 740-page collection of George’s columns from The World, is available at xlibris.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and your favorite bookstore. “The Smoke And Mirrors Effect,” George’s first novel, can be seen at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Happy Reading!