Tag Archives: Winter

Frozen Memories ~ My story for @RBwood’s FIRST #WordCountPodcast of 2018

2018 marks the beginning of the eighth season of R.B. Wood’s WordCount Podcast! I’m so grateful I connected with Richard and discovered his podcast, hard to believe my first story appeared on his show March, 2011. I’ve been a happy regular (or irregular, as Richard calls some of us) ever since. His forum has allowed me to pen more than sixty pieces, all of which you can find here.

For this episode, the picture of two lobster boats frozen in the Boston Harbour provided the prompt.

My story inspiration

I hate the cold. Snow, ice, and boats don’t normally figure into my stories. Still, I love a challenge and even an unromantic scene of frozen boats can tug at a reader’s heart under the right circumstances. “Frozen Memories” is my attempt to warm up this cold season, and I hope you like it.

You can also listen to me reading the story on episode 72 of R.B. Wood’s podcast.

NOTE: The written version of this story is slightly different from the audio. I added a few extra lines after I had already sent the recording to Richard. Because I was away when he publicized the show, I had some time to consider details which I believe improve the story.

* * * *

In less than 24 hours, another two feet of snow blanketed the city and the mercury plummeted, yet again.

Life in Boston came to a standstill. This was after the city had already suffered the worst storm in its history a week earlier. Snow removal crews had barely cleared the main roads before meteorologists were forecasting more snow. This would surely be a different kind of Big Dig for Boston, they said. Cleanup efforts seemed pointless.

My walk this morning was particularly difficult, as I knew it would be. I trudged through neighbourhoods, which had yet to be shovelled, opting to walk in the middle of the streets whenever possible. Only a few drivers braved the roads anyway, and unlike the majority of residents, I wasn’t heeding the mayor’s warning to stay indoors unless it was essential to go out.

For me, today was essential.

As I entered the public walkway along Boston’s waterfront, a childhood memory came flooding back. I was a young girl again walking with my dad. He had brought me here to show me the boats in the harbour. It had been cold and snowing that day as well, but unlike today, the bay had not frozen over.

“Pick me up,” I had said to him, my arms outstretched to the sky. The barrier that wrapped around the walkway and kept pedestrians from falling into the water blocked my view.

“Come here, sweetheart.” He swooped me up and sat me on the metal railing with my feet dangling over the water. “My little girl gets a front row seat to watch the boats with me,” he said proudly and wrapped his arms around me.

I swung my legs back and forth kicking snowflakes in the air even as I looked at the dark swells below. How easy it would’ve been to fall in and be swept away to sea. Mom would’ve berated Dad for being so careless with me, but Dad never lived his life in fear. In his presence, everything was possible because he made it so. That day, we stared at the boats in the Massachusetts Bay, and Dad hummed in my ear. I wasn’t sure if he hummed an actual song, or he just made it up as he went along. It didn’t matter though, what I remember was the comfort and security I felt at that moment while leaned back against his chest.

It was the best day of my life in the short time that I had with him.

Dad passed away later that year. I could not understand his sudden disappearance, nor fathom that I would never hear his voice again. How could someone be there one day and not be there the next? The concept of death was final but unintelligible to a six-year-old. My carefree childhood ended the moment I realized he was never coming back.

A vicious cloud of powdery snow stung my eyes and swirled around me like a tornado.

“Fuck!” I shouted at the sky.

Nothing like blinding snow to transport me back to the present. I spun around and walked backwards to protect my face from the biting current of air. With my scarf wrapped numerous times around my neck and piled high around my face, I found it difficult to catch my breath. When the wind changed direction, I turned to face forward again and ran along the boardwalk to my destination. Once at my spot, I pressed myself hard against the barrier and dug the cleats of my boots into the ice beneath the snow. The railing, which I had sat on as a child almost forty years ago no longer obstructed my view.

When the wind finally died down, I looked up to see a surreal scene of boats trapped in vast stretches of icy seawater. Like statues, they rose from the surface majestic and motionless.

Tears ran in rivulets down my face and froze on my cheeks. In all the years I had been coming to this same spot, I had never felt this cold. With my hands shoved deeply in my coat pockets, I looked toward the horizon. Everything was frozen—the water, the boats, even my recollection of the past was frozen in time.

Perhaps it was stupid for me to return here prompted by childhood memories, but that’s all I have of Dad. So on this anniversary of the best day of my life all those years ago, I cherish the memories and relive that special time when Dad and I stared out at the boats in the harbour.

As always, thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.




Filed under Short Stories & Poetry

Music Monday accompanied by a rant ~ Cold as Ice

Remember Foreigner? They were a British-American rock band formed in the seventies. They sang a song called “Cold As Ice” and it became one of their big hits. The song was about a woman. When I listen to it now, I interpret the lyrics to be about something else.

Winter is my least favorite season. I make no secret of it, and this year is making up for mild winters of the past.

My experience with winter?

I’m Canadian.

I grew up in Montreal, a city where the winters were much harsher than they are in Toronto, where I now live. We had more snow, which was fun as a kid. I used to skate, toboggan, and jump in snow banks.

As I’ve aged, I’ve grown a thicker skin (metaphorically), but the physical reality is the exact opposite. I wear a hat in the house four to six months of the year. If there is one thing I loathe, it’s having my head cold. I also don’t like being touched on the top of my head. It gives me the shivers like the cold does, so the hat keeps me warm and prevents anyone from patting my head.

Along with the hat, I wear little socks that resemble slippers, and I have a cup of tea beside me all day, which I repeatedly reheat if I don’t drink it quickly enough. It’s not that I can’t afford heating. The truth is I feel the cold acutely and find it difficult to think unless my entire body is warm. Someone coined the term “brain freeze” for me, I’m sure of it.

Canada is a country of four seasons. I love the heat. I hate the cold. I used to think I had to suffer through winter to appreciate the summer, but no …

Seriously, no.

I would appreciate and love summer even if it were 365 days of the year.

This circles me back to Foreigner and “Cold as Ice,” a song about a love affair with a woman, written by a man. He considers her cold as ice because she sacrifices love for money, prefers gold and riches to a fortune in warm feelings from him. He says to her, someday, she will pay the price for wanting paradise.

I would too if paradise was somewhere hot. 😉

I used to like that song, but I listened to it last week while in my car at below freezing temperatures, waiting for the seat warmers to kick in. That was following an ice storm during Christmas, and before the freezing rain which recently hit. “Cold” and “ice” were not two words I wanted to hear.

So … I decided to do a quick re-write of the song.


I’m as cold as ice
I’m not willing to sacrifice my hat
I never take it off
But someday it will be spring
I know

I’ve seen it before
It happens all the time
I’m closing the door
To leave the cold behind
I’m wearing my socks
My big sweater too
I look out my window
And wish for the sun

I’m as cold as ice
I’m not willing to sacrifice my hat
I never take it off
But someday it will be spring
I know …


Brrrr. Now enjoy the real lyrics, stay warm everyone,



Filed under Musical Mondays, Revelations & Humor

Musical Mondays-Anne-Sophie Mutter

Continuing with my theme of female violinists, Anne-Sophie Mutter was born in Rheinfelden, Germany and began playing the piano at age five before switching to the violin. She’s won numerous accolades for her virtuosity and has performed all over the world.

Playing one of my favorite pieces, Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”, Winter (1st movement), here’s why she’s considered one of the best violinists in the world.




Filed under Musical Mondays