When I was a boy growing up I never looked forward to January. It was a time of short gray days and long dark nights. The bitter wind here in the mountains made waiting outside for the school bus very painful. The windows were covered in frost, the sidewalks were slick with ice and the water pipes to the house would freeze at times. Even the floors were cold when I got up in the morning. The Christmas decorations had long since been taken down and the tree thrown away. The holidays were over and now it was just winter.

Over the years, though, I began to find that winter had its own unique set of joys. Snow days off form school were a pure pleasure with sled riding, making snowmen, and snowball fights with my brothers. The winter sunrise was a delight to behold. Its beauty made my heart warm on the coldest days.

See this weeks paper for the full story...

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