From Christina: It’s been a cold, cold winter here in the midwest. Today’s guest author, Bev Ovalle, knows all about cold — and she takes it in stride. She’s here to share a few reflections on the season as well as some fantastic family photos. Enjoy!
by Beverly Ovalle
Winter has always been a season I’ve enjoyed. Growing up in the Midwest, outdoor winter fun was always a feature. Every winter sent us out to the pond to ice skate when I was growing up. I may not have been great at it, but even today I still grab my skates and head out to the rink on the lake. Snow ball fights and sledding were a daily feature whenever my brothers and I didn’t have school. I learned the hard way not to sit at the front of a toboggan. I was run over more than once when I fell off! Okay, it took me a while to learn that. I can be an incredibly slow learner!
Winter is a season of celebration for me. Aside from Christmas, my son, daughter and husband have birthdays in December. Their births were definitely a reason to celebrate as I always had wanted children. My brothers are in November and January and my mom’s and mine are in February. There are a number of birthdays in the family during the winter months and we love to celebrate, any reason for cake and ice cream!
It was also the season of one the worst times in my life as I miscarried when I was three months pregnant. I eventually learned to live with it, but that still has the ability to squeeze my heart in pain, regardless that more than a decade has passed. What I remember that winter is wandering the streets in the middle of the night as it snowed. I couldn’t sleep much for a long time. Wandering in the dark and quiet brought me the peace I needed.
My best winter memory-other than the birth of my children- is Christmas Day a few years ago. I came downstairs and my daughter said that my son had sent a special gift for Christmas.
When I went to unwrap it, my daughter told me the box was sitting on my gift, just lift it up. My son was inside! He was leaving in two weeks for his first deployment to Afghanistan. I bawled like a baby I was so happy to see him.
Winter is a busy, busy season for me. I work at the Post Office so it is off the charts insane. Thank goodness most customers are pleasant and understanding of the lines. I do my best to make sure we have as much help as possible to keep the lines flowing. I used to carry mail and always felt like the stay puff marsh mellow man when I was all bundled up. Lucky as slippery as it is during winter, when I fell when I was all bundled up I usually just bounced. Snow, ice and sidewalks just don’t mix well!
Probably in self defense from the intensity of the season at work, I dislike decorating for the holidays. Now that my children are grown, I can get away with a little tree, but my husband likes to decorate. Unfortunately I usually have to clean it up. I’m ruthless. I usually have it all down my New Year’s.
Because of work I usually don’t have time for baking or preparing anything special even though I just love Christmas Cookies. I haven’t had time for years to do more than make cookies from premade batters. I volunteered with a children’s group at church and we always made cookies in the church basement and packaged them up for shut-ins which we handed out when we went Caroling to their homes. It was a wonderful experience to see that happiness we brought into the lives of our elderly when a group of children came to spread Christmas cheer.
Winter here brings lots of extra work. Scraping the cars off to not just get to work, but just to get into the car! I rarely shovel as I have my husband for that. I have no idea of even how to turn on the snow blower. If I have to clear snow it is with the shovel, or I call one of my son’s friends and pay them to do it.
My preferred activity is to sit inside with a hot drink; sitting in my recliner and watching the snow come down. Too bad that is something that rarely happens. Maybe one day.
Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 24 years, Edmond, and two Chinese Water Dragons. Her son Nicholas is in the US Marines. Her daughter Susannah lives nearby and is a CNA.
Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell. Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.
She has published two books. Dragons’ Mate with Boroughs Publishing Group came out March 2, 2013 in their Lunchbox Romance Line. Her second, Lightning Strike, was published with Secret Cravings Publishing on November 2, 2013 in Weekend Getaways.