These days, I get up really early to walk Samson before the sun clears the Eastern mountain ridge and now it's cold here, very cold. It was 12 F the other day and windy. Today it's 20 degrees. I walk Soldier after the sun comes up and feel its power. Here in the mountains, the morning sun is strong and it gets warm almost immediately.
But at first it's cold and it's now that my Swedish mittens become true treasures, as does my wool scarf. What's up with the Nivea? Something wonderful: When we were little, my mom would slather Nivea cream on our faces before letting us out to play on cold winter days. One day a few years ago, I was shopping in our local Walgreens and came upon these little Nivea creams. I bought one and opened it. And the smell! It was exactly the same kind that my mother put on us. The smell brought it all back to me: Deep snow, ice skating, sledding, snowball fights, the mini-igloos we built all over our backyard, with candles inside. We would light the candles before going inside and our yard would glow in the dark evenings.
The scent of the Nivea cream also reminded me of my mother, of how after a long afternoon of hard play outside in the cold, we would sit at the kitchen table with big mugs of hot chocolate, telling her about all the fun we had in the snow.