Winters were cold and white where I was a kid. Sometimes big flakes drifted lazily from the sky like feathers from molting doves. Other times snow pelted and stung the skin of your face. One year Wilson Pond froze fast and fierce in a single night, forming ice as clear as window glass. We skated on its surface to watch fat gray fish circling slowly below until our hands numbed and we ran into the warming shack, where a woodstove blasted heat.
We shed hats and mittens. Damp wool smelled like wet dog. Sitting on rough-hewn benches, we’d feel slivers poke right through our jeans to stick in the soft backs of our knees. A solitary light bulb hung from the rafters. It swung back and forth in the bitter-cold drafts from an always opening door to make eerie shadows dart across the floor and fold into corners. The room was plenty warm. It was not cozy.