Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another White Christmas

By Ruth A. Ringelstetter

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

The famous Christmas carol, White Christmas, was written by Irving Berlin in 1942. We’ve enjoyed the song and the Christmas movie of the same name every Christmas season for years.

In the 1990’s as Joann and I began photographing more and more, we lamented the fact that we just didn’t seem to get as much snow as we did when we were growing up on the farm. Some years we were out photographing winter when there was only an inch or two of snow to be found. Winter in Wisconsin just didn’t seem right without a larger amount of snow like we had years ago.

The last few years, there has been no such problem. In other words, no dreaming required for a white Christmas. We’ve been blessed the last few years with early December snows that have lasted well past Christmas.

As soon as the roads are clear after a big snow, and we have a day off from work, we head out. Sometimes our mission is small towns, and sometimes it’s rural farm scenes. We love to find red barns against the background of all that white snow. In fact, any color of barn except white is enhanced by a blanket of snow.

In the winter, navigating changes a little bit. I can still pick a road to turn on, but we never know until we get right up to it whether or not we’ll really turn. That decision is made based on how well plowed the road looks. In all our winter travels, we’ve only gotten a little stuck and that was just last winter. A couple of minutes later we were back on the road.

Everything looks different in the snow, so we often travel roads we’ve been on before. Usually the scene looks better, since the blanket of white is covering what we often wish we couldn’t see in other seasons of the year.

As you travel down the roads this holiday season, look around at the blanket of snow and notice how different the world looks. And if you dare, when you feel a little cabin fever setting in, go out and explore some backroads. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Happy Shunpiking!

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