January 2012 Issue
Editor's Note: Warming Up to Winter
My attitude toward winter in Ohio has come full circle.
As a kid, the sight of a pile of fresh snow was exciting — a signal to jump into snow pants, don extra socks and boots, plus a sweater, jacket, scarf, hat and mittens — how did we move in all that gear? — and head outside for some frozen fun with my friends. Snow forts, snow angels, snowball fights … red cheeks, runny noses, chapped lips … Good times.
But as I grew older, winter became, well, an annoyance — something to be avoided by dashing from house to car, hatless and gloveless, for months on end. Part of this, I’ll admit, was a reluctance to trade a pair of fashionable high-heeled boots and tailored coat for some really warm and practical cold-weather apparel.
I began to dread the onset of winter — not a healthy attitude for a Buckeye State lifer.
A couple of years ago, however, some friends invited me to join them for Sunday morning walks in a nearby park. That was in summer, and as the season changed and the air turned colder, we kept walking. When the temperature dropped precipitously and the flakes started to fly, we kept walking — and I purchased a down coat, head-enveloping wool hat, and waterproof boots and mittens, and kept walking. (Remember how your mother told you to dress for the weather? Well, she was right.)
I might look like an animated tree stump in my puffy brown coat and insulated boots, but I’m warm and, not coincidentally, I’ve begun to enjoy winter again. The cold air, exercise and companionship of friends are energizing, and the scenery has a quiet beauty that reveals details of the landscape such as birds’ nests, winterberries and animal tracks. Unobscured by leaves and summer’s haze, the views from our park include Lake Erie whitecaps and the downtown Cleveland skyline.
In this issue, as we do every January, Ohio Magazine
encourages readers to get out and take advantage of the terrific winter activities in our state. Turn to page 34 for contributing editor John Gladden’s suggestions, including snow tubing at Cleveland’s Progressive Field, hiking in the Hocking Hills and watching sled dog races at Punderson State Park. And for those who still want to avoid freezing temperatures, there are some indoor attractions as well.
We hope that if your winter routine is to hibernate from January through March, you’ll venture out and have some frozen fun with friends — red cheeks, runny nose and chapped lips notwithstanding.