Snow was the best of all playthings, when I was a boy! We got a lot of it in our part of Pennsylvania, and even after I’d outgrown sledding down one of our steep roads, I still liked to walk a long way into the woods when there was snow on the ground and the air was cold and crisp. When the snow was just a bit granular, and the sun shone on it, you could see the crystals reflect the light back at you in small glints of color, all the colors of the spectrum. I’d stand on a hill the glaciers had tumbled up in heaps of boulders, looking out on my town below, with the smoke coming from the chimneys far away. Winter was a comfortable time, especially since we had a couple of weeks free from school, to celebrate the Christmas holidays and the New Year.
It wasn’t always so, of course. I’m looking at my dictionary of Old English (that is, English before the Norman Invasion in 1066, a good rough point for dividing Old English from Middle English, …
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