Deep fresh snow
Family,  Me,  Romance

Bittersweet: Fluffy Snowfalls

Growing up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan I loved the fall even though it meant going to school which I absolutely hated. I’ll cover that topic in another post. I loved the fall’s first deep, fluffy white snowfall!

Few would deny the beauty of a fresh deep fluffy white snowfall. Before a person’s mind begins to think negative thoughts regarding the inconveniences it might cause, how can you not be in awe of the beauty as it piles up on all it lands on?

Anything will look beautiful with a fresh fluffy layer of snow on it. Even a garbage dump!

It’s been said that the Inuit have many words for snow. If it’s true or not, it doesn’t matter in this post, however, I do know from experience there are many types. Snow formed when it’s freezing is smaller crystals that don’t pack into snowballs. Wind-packed snow or snow thawed and then refrozen has a different feel. Those are not as fun.

The fresh fluffy large snow crystals formed when the temperature is just right are the best!

I have so many beautiful memories in my life of experiences that fresh the first snowfall of the year. If it wasn’t too deep, riding a bike in it could be fun, tobogganing, cross-country skiing, even a walk while it was snowing, or afterward, if the moon was out in the evening.

Mom had talked about a time as young children when we were deep in the snow in our backyard on Main Street in Saskatoon, where we are hard to see because it was so deep! I always loved it.

I loved the crispness of the air, the feeling, and the sound of the crunch under my boots. The way the light reflects on it during the day or evening. Catching it on your tongue if it was still falling. It was pure beauty, as it fell after the snowfall stopped.

I always made it a priority to make sure I got out into the fresh snow as soon as possible and enjoy it as much as possible before it was blown away, or altered over time by changing conditions to be the types of snow that weren’t as much fun.

As someone with a warm body around a warm heart, the cold never bothered me, so being out in the fresh snow was terrific. Coming back into the house afterward was as good as knowing I was warm, and if I had a window to look out at the snow, even better.

Our first dog Lady loved the first fresh snow of the year and would be as excited as we were. She’d chase and tear up snowballs thrown until she collapsed from exhaustion. I never witnessed anything that got her more excited than that.

I used to love coming home as a child or youth after hours playing in fresh snow, usually tobogganing, to a friend’s house where their mom would make hot chocolate and help us get wrapped up in a warm-down quilt. I have no memories of my mother doing the same. She has severe ADHD, so I think it just never occurred to her to do it. I feel no bitterness or resentment for it. It’s just the way she is.

I had great hopes for future experiences with the snow which is the source of my bittersweet feelings now when it snows.

At about 16 or 17, I had a chance to try downhill skiing through high school. The nearby Qu’Pelle valley that passed by Regina had small hills that were an adequate place to learn to ski. Usually icy and groom runs with man-made snow, however, a few times, there was fresh fluffy snow.

One of my best friend’s fathers used to take the family on a yearly ski trip to Fernie, BC. He insisted I come along one time even though I had no money for such a trip. He said he’d take care of everything. I hesitantly went along, however, he was true to his word as an incredibly kind generous man. It was a fantastic trip.

Fernie, BC has a ski hill in a bowl that doesn’t get much wind. That year they were getting at least a foot of fresh snow every night. We were up early and would get to make fresh runs on the untouched snow. It was so much fun.

At the time, I decided I wanted to be able to ski in such conditions winters for the rest of my life. I dreamed of having my own family on such trips. First, of course, having a woman I loved in my life to enjoy cuddling in a warm cottage looking at the snow. Making love either before or after spending time in it in a romantic cottage in front of a fire, in a warm bed . . .

I am part of the Jones Generation. A small group that is often classified as baby boomers, however we graduated high school during a fuel crisis when North America saw its first post-war severe inflation, high-interest rates, and a serious recession. A horrible challenging time to be a young adult.

Over the years, I continued to hope and dream I could have regular trips to or own a cottage in a beautiful ski resort like Banff, Jasper, or Whistler. To be with the woman, I love even if she didn’t ski, but would Apre-ski in a local pub while I enjoyed time on the hill.

It never happened. For various reasons, my marriage never provided the opportunity due to missteps, bad luck, and challenges not worth mentioning here. I held out hope that someday I could make it happen so that I could experience that fresh fluffy snow more often.

In the lower mainland near Vancouver, we do get fresh fluffy white snow every few years, and a few times, we’ve been fortunate to have a White Christmas. I have many wonderful memories of enjoying time in the snow with my sons when they were younger and loved playing in it for hours.

The picture at the top of this story is a record snowfall in December 2022 in my yard. Sadly, my boys, at 18 and 20, don’t like playing in the snow anymore. Even our lovely 12-year-old dog Peanut doesn’t really enjoy it anymore as he did when he was young.

As a middle-aged man, I still hadn’t had the experiences I wanted with the woman I loved in a healthy deep loving relationship during a fresh fluffy white snowfall.

My marriage ended over 10 years ago; however, my wife and I ended it about 6 years ago. After we were in separate homes, I started dating and fell in love with a woman who had raised a family in Whistler and now lived in Squamish. Of course, both places get the fluffy white snow I cherish. She made it clear she was no longer interested in living in such a place. She was stuck in Squamish because of her daughters and shared custody with her ex-husband.

My dreams of a romantic White Christmas with her were crushed. She said she’d do it for me. That goes against my unselfish nature. I wouldn’t enjoy it if she didn’t. I had missed out because she’d had that experience with her ex-husband and possibly previous boyfriends as she worked in the hotel industry.

My dreams of being with that woman were crushed. After a tumultuous relationship, I eventually realized she is a covert narcissist. She never loved me and never could. That is another story I still have to write. I did write a story about her daughter nearly becoming the daughter I never had.

Logically I know there is still time to have those romantic experiences I seek. That I could still meet a wonderful woman and have the healthy, loving relationship I’ve never had who might love the beauty of the snow as much as me. Who might want to share those experiences, yet time is running out.

So although I loved seeing the fresh white fluffy snow the days before writing this post, I feel bittersweet emotions yearning for the experiences I might never have. That I have missed out on. Wondering if I’ll even find love, let alone enjoy a snowfall together.

I must admit, though, I’d prefer to find love with a woman that hates snow than not find love at all.

I will hope for the best!