Winters Growing Up by James Gherardi

Finally, some snow. Growing up in New York, the mere three to four inches that Danville saw this storm wasn't much of anything really....compared to the white out conditions I am used to.

Memories of winters growing up for me are composed primarily of blizzard like conditions, rendering our house covered in snow looking more like an igloo than a traditional two story colonial.

There is a hill at my childhood house right in our side yard. And after one of the biggest snowstorms of my memory, the blizzard of '96, dumped well over two feet of the white stuff in my yard, I have the best memories of sledding down the slope, building a mound of snow, much higher than myself at the time, (a 6 year old, four feet, five inch frame) and flying down in my red sleigh. School was canceled probably for the whole week as was our electricity. I can remember my family, parents and brother and I huddled, freezing together in our living room, finding "primitive," sources of entertainment, which often times end up being the most fun and bringing a family closer than a television set ever could. We undoubtedly spent hours talking, laughing, reading, playing games and getting to know each other, the ones we claim to know so well.

I look so fondly back on those memories. And to this day, I love the snow. I think a good snow is a beautiful thing. Walking out the next morning to see the result can be so serene - it's often extremely quiet, with schools closed, no cars are on the road and all you can here is the wind.

I find it so funny the reactions folks have who live here to inches of snow, similar to a northerner's reaction to feet of it. Schools close, stores shut down and the super market becomes nearly sold out. I'm slowly getting used to the warmer climate, the rainier winters and the hotter summers. But always, I'll look fondly back on the winters I had growing up, confined to a freezing, powerless house, surrounded by feet and feet of snow.