By Paul Wein
I hate the cold weather. I can’t stand waking up to the sound of the cold wind outside my window and getting that horrible chill when you get out from under the covers for the first time in the morning – BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! I have a lot of memories of past winters; all of them are funny ones. So let me share a few with you that will hopefully keep you warm this winter:
- I was around five years old and we just got the first big snowstorm of the year. I told my mother that I wanted to go out and play in the snow. She told me I could just as soon as I dressed “warm” for the snow. I had no idea what she meant, but I soon found out. In order to go out and play, I had to wear the following – all at once – underwear, thermal underwear, a sweat suit, jeans and a sweater, a snowsuit and a jacket, a ski mask, a hat, a scarf and gloves. At this point, I didn’t want to play in the snow anymore because I couldn’t walk anymore. I think that if a nuclear bomb hit the house next to mine I would have survived due to the many layers of protection I was wearing. I knew she only meant well, but I think there is a fine line between warmth and immobility.
- I was in school at P.S. 193, probably third grade. The snow was coming down fast and furious. They let us out of school early because the snow was so bad. I had to walk from Bedford Avenue and Avenue L to East 29th Street and Avenue J. The snow was up to my knees and walking was almost impossible. At least three times for each block I walked, I fell face first into the unforgiving snow. The tears from my eyes froze as they slid down my cheeks. What I would have given for a car service or a snowmobile or anything that would have prevented me from walking. The blocks that I walked every day never seemed so long. Finally, I got to the front of my house. As I went to open the door, my mother was standing there with a dry, warm change of clothes, a hot cup of cocoa, and a pot of chicken soup for lunch. If my mother had never done anything else for me in my life, that one moment would have been enough. Thanks mom.
- I was playing in the snow with my friends when I was ten years old. The snow was so deep that cars were just white mountains. We were having the snowball fight of the year and I was winning. To gain momentum, I climbed one of the white mountains and was ready to throw the snowball of snowballs when I felt the ground under me start to give way. I was on top of the mound of snow covering the car, but not the car. I fell straight down and was pinned between the frozen snow and the car and all that was showing was my head. I could not move and my hands were at my sides so I could not pull myself free. My friends who were part of the snowball fight saw my predicament and realized they had better do something – so they did – they spent the next twenty minutes pummeling my head with snowballs because I was an easy target. I was helpless, starting to freeze, and a target all at the same time. After about a half hour, the person whose car was buried under the same snow as me came to dig his car out, and me as well. Let’s just say I lost that snowball fight, I have not had one since.
- I lived in a basement apartment on Avenue T and East 8th Street. To get into my house, you had to walk down five steps to the door and then enter. I woke up one morning and looked out the front window, which was street level, to see nothing but white. I figured it must have snowed a little, so, still half asleep, I went to open my door to see how bad the snow was. Once I unlocked the door, the door opened itself and my house and my body were suddenly covered with snow. This was not the way I wanted to wake up in the morning. I had to spend the next four hours digging the outside – and inside – of my house out – before I even had a cup of coffee.
I hope that my memories of old man winter have given you a laugh and a warm smile. Just remember, winter is here, so stay warm, not immobile, and don’t stand on top of cars to have a snowball fight.