Monday, March 23, 2009

Electrified with Anticipation

When I was kid, I loved winters. I don't remember there being a whole lot of super cold days, and there were all sorts of fun things you could do on snow or ice that you couldn't do on grass or dry pavement. Some things were as simple as running and sliding on a small patch of ice [1]. Other things were more technologically advanced, like tobogganing. There were the occasional winters where the patches of ice were large enough to skate on. In fact, I accidentally taught myself how to skate one winter when the front patio of our house froze over. I was using front part of the railing of the patio as a support and using the side parts to push myself from one end to the other. After a while I noticed that I didn't need the railings for support or to get myself moving. That was the last time that winter that it was icy enough to skate outside, but the skills learned on the patio would prove useful later on.

That winter or the next, my family moved to the city. A short block away from our new house, there was a water reservoir, which was covered over by soil and grass so that it looked like a hill. It was a great place to go tobogganing, and I spent many hours doing just that. When I got older, one of my friends bought an ATV. The GT Sno Racer got tied to the back of it. We rode around that way for days, until the skis were worn flat.

Later on in high school, the student council organized yearly ski trip. I didn't go until my second last year of high school, but I had so much fun, I made sure to go again the next year. There was also the Quebec trip that only the grade 12 class took, which included about 12 hours (nonconsecutive) of skiing. I haven't been since then. There have been attempts to organize trips, but nothing ever materialized.

More recently, I bought myself a pair of skates, and went skating in downtown Kingston at the market square, which was fun for the few times I went before they closed it down (turns out they didn't close it down as early as I thought they would, so I could've gone a few more times). But this was the sum total of my winter activities. I had high hopes of spending more time doing this things, but just never got around to it. The handful of hours I did get in skating doesn't come close to how much fun I remember having.

Now, winter means trudging through the snow and clearing snow of my car and ice off my windshield more than it does fun. While I surely won't miss these things, this is not the part of winter that I am most eager to see gone.

With the end of winter officially behind us two or three days ago, I eagerly anticipate not getting that little electric shock every time I touch, well, pretty much anything it seems. Anything metal is sure to get me zapped. I get it from my car. I've seen the little blue arc when I put my key in the door. Often people are the targets of my excess electrons. Most recently, I even got zapped by my hand soap, and moments later, by my tap water. Bring on the spring!

[1] I still do this if there's a large enough patch of ice on the sidewalk. Sometimes I feel safer running and sliding than walking slowly.

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