The frozen pond behind my apartment, the closest I get to an untouched winter scene. Photo by Catherine Christine.

[Note: Hometown City Girl is a diary of sorts; a collection of my stories, experiences, and trials of growing up in a small town in Southeast Ohio along the river dreaming of living in the city and then moving there and realizing I don’t quite fit in either place. Parts of me are a little too “country” for Columbus, and parts of me are a little too “city” for the people I know down home. It’s an interesting balance but it makes every experience interesting trying to figure out what role I fit into.]

A not so popular opinion I hold is winter is actually one of my favorite seasons. I know, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy, and no I don’t like the cold I’m a baby about being cold so it’s not for the temperatures that I love winter. I love it for the winter fashion of boots and scarves, but more than that I love the way the world looks covered in snow and ice.

Oh boy was I in for a disappointment when it comes to winter in the city. Don’t get me wrong Columbus has some really beautiful parks and scenery in some areas, but as a whole the scenery is just lacking in something for me. It honestly doesn’t hold the same natural beauty for me most of the year that home does. You don’t have large bunches of green blooming trees in the spring, or oranges and reds as far as you can see in the fall because there simply aren’t that many trees in one place here. That was one of the biggest adjustments for me about being in Columbus, the lack of trees. I also had a hard time adjusting to the idea of constantly seeing airplanes above me, but that’s another matter.

What I love most about winter down home was how untouched everything looks. The way tree branches get covered in a layer of ice that make them shimmer and seem like something out of a fantasy novel. I miss seeing the Ohio River everyday and especially how it looks in the winter with snow on the banks and ice in the river from time to time. It’s like a whole little world of its own, it’s a natural beauty that’s hard to find anywhere else, and one I’ve found that people who have lived here their whole lives don’t seem to understand or believe it exists because here snow is very ugly.

This is my second winter in Columbus but we didn’t get much snow last year and it still surprises me how nasty it looks when it snows. Everything gets immediately salted, plowed and driven over, so before the snow even finishes falling it’s all black and half slushy. There’s none of that untouched world feel here and there are trees around, but not enough in one spot to give you the same feeling as they do at home.

The closest thing I have to winter at home is a pond behind my apartment that was almost untouched. It gave me a little feeling of how things look at home, and a slight resemblance of the river in winter. I say almost untouched though because as I went to get pictures I noticed some footprints on the ice from some misguided soul. Now I personally can’t say much on this matter without sounding hypocritical, and that’s because in the ignorance of my youth I did just that.

Footprints on the ice. Photo by Catherine Christine

Now since you’re here reading this now obviously nothing bad happened to me and I was safe and sound, but it’s definitely something I consider to be just about the dumbest decision of my childhood. My grandpa said he saw me walking back from the window with a big smile on my face and a cinder block under my arm and immediately knew what I had done. Years later he had a heart attack and had several by-passes; to this day he still swears this instance was the reason for at least one of his by-passes. While I hate that I caused both my grandparents so much stress that day, and it’s not something I would do again, it is cool to be able to have had that experience. From the tracks this kindred spirit also found their way back to land with no issues so I’m glad for that, but it just goes to further show how there’s not a single part of winter scenery in the area that hasn’t in some way had human influence to it.

About a week ago the Meigs Independent Press shared some pictures of winter scenes down home and it was exactly was I needed in my dreary land of dirty snow and slush. You can check out the pictures here: http://meigsindypress.com/2018/01/04/frozen-beauty/ It really is a breath taking scene that seems like something from another world.
So here’s to the beauty of winter. You may find it cold and bothersome but do your best this year to stop and enjoy a magical part of natures beauty.

Normally there are a lot of ducks and geese on this pond, but since it has frozen they’ve left for warmer places. Photo by Catherine Christine.

~ An ambition too big for home; a heart too big for the city

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