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Happy Official Winter!

by Cassidy Gillard

I’m taking my first vacation in a long time, so my current view is of my sister making chocolate at her candy store in Bozeman, Montana, rather than the mountains. It’s a different kind of beautiful sight, but it makes my heart happy to be here.

Just before I got here I received some devastating news. As it turns out, my foot is still broken after almost four months. This, of course, means that I won’t be able to snowboard this season. For me, that is really hard to hear. I’ve snowboarded with broken wrists, a week after major jaw surgery (don’t tell my mom), and in all sorts of weather. But at this point in my life, I’m not willing to be quite so reckless, and I’m not willing to mess with my foot.

So here I am, dreaming about the mountain, wishing I could magically mend my poor bone. So I may be at a point where I’m less reckless, but I am also not willing to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I want to stay motivated and keep myself busy so that I don’t waste 6 months of my life daydreaming about unrealistic wishes. (I’m not saying I’ve completely given up hope that my foot will get better in time to get a few runs in, just that I’m trying to stay positive yet realistic at the same time.) I choose to live where the mountains are, where I can snowboard as much as possible, and I now have to figure out how to stay busy and happy in the cold snowy days ahead.

For those of you who don’t ski or snowboard, or are unable to, I’ve compiled a list of ways to enjoy the snow anyways.

1. Build a snowman. Or a snow fort. I just about broke one of my kindergarteners hearts the other day when I told him we were going to play in the snow because he didn’t know how to make a snowman. So we built one together and then the whole class got together to dig out a snow fort to hang out in together. Definitely enjoyable for all ages.

2. Sit by the fire and read a book. I’ve always had a hard time sitting still long enough to actually enjoy a book or even just a cozy fire to sit by, so learning to appreciate a peaceful activity has taken lots of practice. But I’m doing it, and I have begun to enjoy the moments of calm that I’m finding.

3. Go sledding. Granted, with a broken foot this might not be the best idea, but you don’t all have broken feet, so enjoy the sledding hill for me! Scott Carpenter Park has a great hill, and there are always lots of friendly people there to hang out with.

4. Go ice skating. There’s a great skating rink in downtown Boulder and for a very reasonable price ($7, I think) you can rent skates and enjoy a lovely evening or day on the rink.

5. Make snow art. If you put water and food coloring into a spray bottle, you can really spice up your yard, or your snow fort or whatever. I have pictures of an igloo in my front yard that is speckled with all kinds of colors.

6. Last but not least, I’ll throw a little taste of my homeland into your worlds; sugar on snow. I grew up in Vermont, so of course my main food group is Maple Syrup. When there’s a good fresh batch of snow outside, all you have to do is fill a bowl with snow, and pour some maple syrup over it. It is absolutely delicious, and a super fun way to enjoy the snow. The only important thing that you have to remember is that you MUST use real maple syrup. The fake stuff is absolutely unacceptable for this recipe.

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