I remember those days in winter when I'd wake up at 7am just to listen to the radio. Mom couldn't even start getting me to grumble anything back from under the covers before 8am usually, but if it started to snow the night before, I'd set the alarm just so I could hear the radio. And I'd wait patiently through the alphabet until it got to "Gale Middle School" and I'd feel such a surge of joy at having a snowday that I'd fling off the covers and go downstairs to see my mother shaking her head at me for being awake at 7am when there wasn't school.
Later on, when the sun had warmed up the air to 32-degrees, my brothers and I would bundle into our snowsuits. There'd be the puffy snowpants/overalls worn over thermal underwear with the two pairs of knee-high socks (one tucked under and one pulled over the thermal underwear) and the snowboots pulled over the cuffs of the snowpants if you could zip the boots up. The overalls portion of the snowpants would hook together over a sweater or a sweatshirt layered over a longsleeved thermal underwear layered over a t-shirt. You'd put on your gloves so that its cuffs would be pulled tight by the sleeves of the puffy snowjacket that you'd zip up over the scarf that you'd wrap around your throat a couple of times. It would be wrapped in such a way that your nose and mouth would tuck in and once you got your hat and earmuffs on, the only sliver of skin that the air could touch was around the eyes. My brothers and I, bundled just so, would be ready to waddle out into the snow and PLAY!
After playing and freezing, but having so much fun we didn't realize we were freezing, we'd come in. We'd stomp off as much snow in the garage and peel out of the layers, leaving poor mom to deal with the thawing, dripping snowsuits which she would hang up in the laundry room over the sink. There was always hot chocolate waiting and as my hands would wrap around that welcome heat of the cup, I'd notice how my fingers would be too swollen with blood and cold to bend and flex.
And this is what I thought of this morning after I came out of the surf.