The Farm was 150 acres of cleared land, woods, streams, and ponds and we loved it all year round but winter was particularly magical! The frost on the trees, the warmth of the fire inside, the smell of hot chocolate warming on the wood stove, the quiet and peaceful surroundings absent of car horns, fire truck sirens, or city busses passing made for an atmosphere of peaceful reflection!
In the winter the walk to school always seemed a little longer in distance but the time taken to make the trek was shortened by the necessity of the brisk pace! Often I walked the mile huddling my face behind the back of an older brother. His sturdy frame shielded me from the blowing wind and cold. It was like walking with your eyes closed - all I could see was the back of the coat my brother was wearing and I dared not peer beyond on those days when the wind was particularly wild, wisps of snow "cutting" my face. Once home from school chores were completed as quickly as possible. We could use the remaining light of day to play a game of hockey or skate around the frozen pond in the front of the house near the road or over in a distant field where the rains had left huge pools to freeze over.
My fondest memories include skating with my older brothers and trying to be included in their ice games. I learned later that the role they had given me was less part of the game and more designed to keep me out of harms way! For that reason I often found myself tending goal a great distance away with our lovely golden lab as a playmate. The occasional skate by of one of my brothers would be enough to leave me with the impression that I was, indeed, a part of the real play. Real or not the chill on my cheeks, the fresh air in my lungs and the blissful feeling of exhaustion at the end of the afternoon, as dusk was approaching was nothing short of wonderful. Mother , with the hot chocolate ready, and the warmth in the kitchen that always waited for us to return, made us feel so good. Winter on the farm was just perfect!