Ice Scrapers in the Night

Ice Scrapers in the Night


Photo courtesy of IMGUR

The sound of ice being scraped off of car wind shields throws me back to memories of my childhood.  I think of it with a kind of reverie, it was a sound I had forgotten. It has not been easy for my BC born daughter to get used to Alberta winters, but I don’t find it as difficult, seeing as I grew up amidst long Winnipeg winters.

I think of this as I am watching NOVA- a family of reindeer herders in Mongolia are being filmed, lassooing their reindeer, making clothes from their fur. Fur from different times of year, the thicker fur of winter, the softer lighter fur of spring for different layers to their handmade suits. The children’s skin looks fresh and windblown. They don’t see the cold as something to fight against, it is just there, the same way I felt as a child growing up in Winnipeg, you just put on a scarf and mitts and gloves and a snow suit and you were set for the day.

I recall long lineups in kindergarten, sweating in our layers as we waited for the teacher to bundle us into our gear. Our heads bound up with our long scarves, one wrap over the forehead, the other for the mouth. Just enough room for your nostrils to let air in and out. But it was all we knew. Winter came every year whether we wanted it or not. But what kid didn’t want it? Snow ball fights, tunnelling into giant snow mountains that existed on the edge of parking lots. I recall hours upon hours of snow fort building. I made snowmen and snow dragons, snow angels and maple syrup candy frozen in the clean white snow of the backyard. Sword fights with giant icicles broken off from the roof. I had a little red saucer made of plastic that flew me down the hill in dizzying swirls.

Yes- that sound of car windows being scraped in the cold dark night certainly brought me back down memory lane, and I sure was appreciative of my seat warmer as I drove off, turned on the radio and watched coyotes dart across the dark road on my way home.



2 thoughts on “Ice Scrapers in the Night

  1. “One wrap over the forehead, the other over the mouth” brought me back to My vivid Manitoba memory of a mother’s love. I’m sure every circa 1970’s child growing up on the prairies can relate. Then I became a mom and scarves became a choking hazard. Sadly, neck warmers and head bands can be self applied without a mother’s touch. I used to send my daughter to Northern Manitoba kindergarten with a ski mask–only eyes and mouth poking through–did she feel loved or like a bank robber? I”ll have to ask…


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