Dear Ally,

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Embrace Winter

ice storm

Ice Storm on our campus February 2011

Dear Ally,

Your uncle and I just returned from a weekend trip to Toronto  and one thing I noticed about Canadians is they don’t let winter stop them from enjoying outdoor activities. We went to a park to find some Long-tailed Ducks and there were people playing rugby, walking, running, riding bikes (yes, in freezing temps) and birding (that’s what it’s called, not bird watching).

A male Long-tailed Duck (photo credit to Adam)

Sure, some aspects of winter are rough. I’m not gonna lie, the drive home yesterday in the lake effect snowstorm was horrendous and my drive to work took twice as long as normal today (no snow day 😦  ). However, I think that I would miss winter, if I permanently moved to a warmer climate.

Winter on campus was a fun time when I was in college. There was the occasional snow day, of course, with students sledding down hills on cafeteria trays, having snowball fights, and other snow-related shenanigans.  I remember going out one really cold night with my roommates. Nobody wanted to wear a coat because it’s not like college bars have coat checks, so I was the designated driver and drove my roommate’s car basically just up the hill. I swear we still had to walk almost as far from the place we found to park. The whole episode was ridiculous.

One of my favorite college memories wouldn’t have happened if it never snowed on campus. I was walking by my friend Mark’s dorm, we now had both Calculus part C and chemistry together, and wanted to see if he was home. Normally you’d use the call box at the front of the building (because no cell phones then), but he was only on the second floor, so I thought I’d just wing a snowball at his window and he’d hear the thump and stick his head out the window. It was perfect snow for making a snowball and I threw it as hard as I could, but there was no thump, just whoosh. That snowball went right through Mark’s cracked window and splatted somewhere in his room! I couldn’t have done that if I’d tried! I thought about running away, but I was doubled over cracking up. Luckily Mark thought it was funny too or at least he did once he knew it was me and not some jerks.

So, don’t sitting around wishing you could fast forward through winter. Live in the present and enjoy what this moment has to offer. After all, if we didn’t have winter, we wouldn’t appreciate summer nearly as much and I’d have to go to the arctic to see a Long-tailed Duck.

Stay warm,

Aunt Sarah

Me, Nov 2015 on a birding boat, headed out on Lake Erie

winter birding





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