We’re not exactly there yet, but I always wondered why winter is described as an Old Man. Somewhere in a faraway place, long, long ago, this idiom must have been born. I never thought of winter as an old man, but it makes sense if you think of the season as a grandfather-like figure.
Where I live, winters aren’t too cold, but then again, it doesn’t take too much for us to get cold in the desert. A few drops in the temperature and the sweaters are out of the closet, the hot chocolate ready to be served.
And then there are space heaters. For some reason, I really like them. They are the kind of gadgets that never changed too much, especially the kind where you can see the coils turning orange, and the sound of tick, tick, tick, as they first come on.
We are in the season where all our childhood favorite things resurge, and being around grandpas is ideal. Maybe it’s because we spend more time indoors, with each other, talking of memories and doing things that make us feel cozy and safe.
Songs you haven’t heard all year are now playing in department store aisles where you shop for ingredients to make meals you haven’t cooked since mom taught you how to a few winters ago.
Movies you remember seeing with aunts and uncles play late at night as you channel surf. You feel good instantly, even if you only catch the middle part before you doze off on the couch.
You’re invited to potlucks to share, not just a dish, but something more. Companionship and time. Potlucks are ideal on cold nights when you need not only the warmth of the kitchen but also the kind you get from your neighbors.
You can’t do much outside; the sun sets just as you leave the office. A visit to grandpa’s would be perfect, if you can still do that kind of thing. Old Man Winter is an old man. He somehow comes and goes each year, but grandpas don’t last forever.
I don’t have grandpas anymore. They had their last winter season some years back. Before then, Thanksgivings and Christmases were always at grandpa’s place. It’s the way it’s supposed to be.