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There is snow outside and I couldn't be happier.

I never thought I would be happy to see the white stuff again. I didn't even really realize that I missed it. Until I saw it.

When I was little, I remember getting all bundled up with my snow pants and winter jacket - non-matching of course - and going outside to play in the snow. Sometimes is would be snow men. Maybe even as elaborate as a snow family. My sisters and I could never really seem to find a good carrot to stick for their noses. It always seemed we had the dried up shriveled ones that wouldn't actually stick in the packed snow. So the snow people eventually ended up without noses.

If it was the weekend, my dad would pack us up into the large GMC grey van (in later years known as 'The Beast') and drive us over to the hospital grounds where they had THE BEST hill for sledding. My mom would actually be in charge of making sure that we were bundled up. 2 or 3 layers of pants. Undershirts, turtleneck and sweaters. Heavy, rubbery winter boots. Snow pants - which were basically ski pants but since my family didn't ski, no one really ever called them that. Winter jacket - which, as I've said, never ever matched the pants. Our gloves tended to be different colours as well. And they definitely didn't go with our hats or headbands that we would be wearing. Fashion, however, was not something we were really concerned with. It was more keeping warm in the snow.

And so, we'd head out. The drive was only about 5 minutes. But we had tons of sleds and wanted to save our energy to go down the hills.

It would be a race to see who would get to use the best sleds. We had one big one that was wooden. Then, a couple of Magic Carpets, that in reality were really nothing more than sheets of plastic - some marketing genius made a bundle. Sometimes, if my cousins were visiting, they would bring their GT Racers. Those were the real treat. Like driving on snow.

One year, I'm sure we went down on circular plastic sleds although I have no idea what they were called or if they were even that fun.

It was the racing, really, that was the most fun. My sisters could never really understand that now matter which snow riding vehicle they had, they could never beat me. Learn a little bit about physics and the largest always tends to have the fastest ride. I think that will probably be the only time I was ever happy to be larger than my sisters.

The cold would eventually set in after HOURS of fun...Time is so different as a kid. I'm sure we were only there for about 45 minutes each time. But we would start to get wet and damp. The excitement of going down the hill eventually did not outweigh the exhaustion from walking back up.

Someone would start crying. Probably my brother as he was the youngest. It was either because he was cold, tired or one of us stole his sled.

So, my dad will pile us all back into the van and drive up the road and around the corner to the warmth of our house.

And then, my favourite part. My mom would have hot chocolate. Warm and creamy. I don't remember what snack it was - cookies, cake - I just remember the hot chocolate. And the cozy fire. Crackling and sizzling. The best part about being in the snow was getting back inside.

D and I were recently in Prague - a beautiful city with loads of character. At the end of each day, we would head over to our favourite tea house for some apple strudel and hot tea.

Some things never change I guess because that was my favourite part of the day.


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