First day of winter

Winter barged into the North Country last night, riding the 20 mile-per-hour winds of a sleet and snow storm that knocked down the frail tent of a clement autumn I hoped would stand another month. It was only a two-inch accumulation of snow and ice, and not the first snowy day of the season. And, yes, I know the official first day of winter will be December 21.

But I suspect this storm heralds the continuous snow cover of the 2019-20 winter, and I have reluctantly begun my transition to the world of cold. I will enjoy winter once my mind and body accept that it is here to stay, but these few days of adjustment will be a struggle. Aging bones and tendons and joints are slow to adapt to the change

The psychological shift was faster and easier. With a sigh of capitulation I stacked firewood on the deck, took all the layers of winter clothes out of storage, hung coats and scarves and hats and mittens on the rack by the door, and attached ice grippers to the insulated boots standing in a row on the porch. We’re ready for the next storm.

Looking out across the snow-covered landscape at last light we took the most comforting, if largely symbolic, step in the day’s winter preparations: we built a roaring fire in the woodstove.


More essays and stories about life in the North Country are published in my five collections of essays, available through at  Jerry Johnson Author Page


About Jerry Johnson

Curmudgeon. Bird hunter and dog trainer. Retired journalist and college public relations director. Former teacher, coach, mentor. Novelist and short story writer. Husband, father, grandfather.
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