I hate the winter…OK, I’m a flawed person and not looking at the optimistic side or the gratefulness side: Oh, yes, I’m alive for another winter, my mom’s with us for another winter, hubby and children and I are healthy…Sorry, I’m flawed. I hate the winter. I am grateful that it hardly snowed yesterday. This winter will be the first one where I will pay to have the snow shoveled. At the end of this past summer, I hired a landscaper to cut the grass and do minimal landscaping, that was a first, too. That same landscaper will make sure someone comes to shovel and use a snow-blower. Hubby, at 63, just can’t do it anymore. Enough is enough. As we age, the winters become harder…harder to clean off the car, harder to keep from falling on ice, harder to put the boots on and take the boots off…just harder, t’ain’t no fun. Winters can be fun when you have kids…making hot chocolate, making a fire (we still make fires), baking, going down steep hills on a sled in the park, ice skating, going upstate skiing (not me, never me)…winters can be fun. When we went upstate (Mom used to have a summer home there, but we sold it in 2007 since we hardly used it.), my husband was the one to take the kids for their first skiing lesson, this man from Harlem who never went skiing in his life. I was too chicken. It was my husband who took the kids ice-skating…he was never an ice-skater, but he did what he had to do. Good man!!! I hope our children have good memories of those winters and what their dad did for them. I stayed inside. I baked, made the hot chocolate, read a book as I eagerly waited for the 3 of them to return from the snow and ice-driven activities. My heart is smiling as I think back on my husband’s devotedness as a father; he who never had a father in his life, yet became such a tender and caring one. I married a good man and I know it. He’s at work, but will be home for lunch in an hour. So great that he’s always worked in our town. So while winter to me is “…an occupation…” from which I’d like to retire…as long as my husband is around, I’ll keep enduring it.