Winter Wonderland (Second Draft)

On my walk this morning, a blog post started forming in my head. I pulled out my phone, turned on the voice recorder, and recorded my thoughts lest I forget them. (Note to future writers: you will forget them. Every time. Unless you write them down or record them.)

A few hours later, I sat down to write. After I finished, I thought, “Haven’t I written some of this already?” So I went to the blog. And yep. I was right.

But it’s a little different. So with apologies for not having written in so long, voila. It’s a start. Next time, all new material. Promise;)


In August of last year, I ended a streak. Prior to that, I had written on this blog every month for over four years. I never set out to write every month. It just kind of happened. Until last August.

What happened last August? I’m not entirely sure. I returned from Europe that month with continued travel planned through the first week of November. Then Michael and I accepted my parent’s invitation to stay in their second home in Schroon Lake for the holidays.

Yes, I'm as cold as I look.
Yes, I’m as cold as I look.

“We’re not staying here past January 1,” I told Michael. Living through an Adirondack winter had never made my list of “Things I Want To Do Once in My Life.” But Michael? He couldn’t believe Schroon Lake–or any lake for that matter–froze to the point that one could drive a truck across it. Ice fishing? Snowmobiling? Below zero temperatures? His eyes lit up–in excitement or madness, I wasn’t sure.

Michael’s desire to stay delighted my father–whose definition of paradise is “when all of your children live within a few hours drive.” Or, better yet, when they all still live in your house.

“We have to heat it in the winter, anyway,” my father said, trying to give me more reasons why this was such a good idea.

“At some point, I need to start working again,” I told Michael. “And trust me–there’s no work for me in Schroon Lake in the winter.” And so it was that a compromise was made. Michael would live in Schroon Lake full-time, and I would become a part-time resident. I found myself a teaching job at the community college in my hometown–three hours south of Schroon Lake. I would live in the vacant apartment over my parent’s garage Monday through Thursday, then drive up to Schroon and spend the weekends with Michael.

Michael bought me Yaks Trax (which you attach to your shoes so you can walk on ice and snow without falling). And he gave me a down jacket for Christmas. I bought snow boots. And hoped I’d never have to wear them after this winter.

Michael plowing Dad's driveway.
Michael plowing snow for the first time in his life.

I witnessed Michael on snowshoes for the first time in his life. And cross-country skis. I left him on his own for ice fishing and snowmobiling–both of which involve sitting in the cold as opposed to moving through it.

Just as winter began to melt, Michael took off for California to spend time with his family. My family and I sent him videos of Spring erupting the week after he left.

In two weeks, I finish teaching. Michael will return from California, and wants to see what a quiet Adirondack town looks like in the height of the season– which, in Schroon Lake, is July 4th.

After that? Well, I’ll leave that for my next post. I promise there will be one. For me, life is much better when  I take time to write about it.

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