Old Man Winter

by Colleen Santos

Old Man Winter Memories … Ah … I have so many form the time I was a little girl right on through my adult life.

But for now, for the time being, I want to tell you a story about an old man and his grandson. Oh how this little boy loved his Papa. They were truly buddies. In fact his Papa would call him “Little Man” rather than by his given name (which was Ricky in case you were wondering).

The two were inseparable. Summer months they would spend at their “secret beach”, having picnics, exploring “the fort” or walking to the library. The little boy loved his time and outings with his grandfather. His Papa never walked too fast so his little feet could keep up with the steps of the older man. His big strong aged hands held his tiny hands just right. They would laugh together, sit quietly together, build things together. They just were.

Summers turned to Fall and Fall turned to Winter. The weather becoming colder and Jack Frost would let you know that he was definitely in the air. The little boy waited patiently for the first snow of the season. The old man, I think, secretly waited for that snow too. Oh boy when that snow finally fell, the two were like children in a candy shop. The “Little Man” would run to get his boots, hat, gloves and snowsuit. The “Old Man” would excitedly pull out the old fashioned sled, you know the one I mean, a Radio Flyer, I think it was called. The Grammy would bundle up both of her “men” with their winter garb and out into the cold fresh snow they would go.

The old man would pull the little boy all around his neighborhood and to the library where they would spend just enough time to get warm and then back to their trek they would go. To see the pair was like looking at a Norman Rockwell Painting … the Old Man with his red nose and impossible smile pulling the little boy bundled up like a snowman. Such a site to behold, honestly you could put the pair inside of a Holiday snow globe.

The little boy had 6 wonderful winters with his Papa before his grandfather was called home. “Little Man” as he was so affectionately called by his Papa was of course saddened by the loss of his buddy. However, he found comfort in knowing he now had a “Papa Angel.”

That last winter that my Dad pulled my son on that old Radio Flyer will forever be etched into my memory … he certainly gave a new meaning to “Old Man Winter.”

Rest in Peace Daddy, and give Mom a kiss for me.

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