Thursday, November 19, 2009

“Ya gotta have snow for Christmaaas!”

This will be my third Christmas in Chiclayo. Christmas is on my mind because just like in the States the stores are decorating and shelves are being stocked with Christmas items. A city crew is erecting the huge metal Christmas tree in the principal park. We watched them work for awhile yesterday afternoon. They were wearing t-shirts and jeans, as were we. I like that. I don’t “gotta have snow for Christmaaas”, nor do I gotta wear a ski parka or snow boots or clean my fogged glasses or wipe my runny nose or be frozen to the bone to enjoy the Christmas decorations in the park at night. Nor do I gotta have my car spin out on black ice or shovel out the driveway and mail box after the snowplows have gone through…..again.

I don’t have to go up on a garage roof to remove large blocks of frozen snow because the weight is causing the roof to make creaking noises. I don’t have to use candles for illumination or watch the temperature drop in my house because the furnace stopped running after a wet snow has pulled down power lines. If I never again go “walking in a winter wonderland” that’s fine with me.

Wisconsin’s annual deer hunting season begins Saturday. It’s almost unbelievable to me that there was a time I actually enjoyed getting out of bed at 4:30am; gulping down a quick breakfast and piling into the car with five other guys to drive into the woods where there was an oak ridge ¼ mile long with swamp on three sides. We’d stumble along the ridge in the dark; each of us stopping at his favorite spot. Then we’d sit there in the pre-dawn darkness freezing our butts off waiting for that first little bit of light when each of us was positive the biggest buck in the forest would be standing in front of him. On an average day we’d be lucky to see a squirrel.

In those days we all wore plaid wool hunting clothing. It wasn’t until some years later that “blaze” was mandated. I remember feeling foolish buying let alone putting on that clown costume. Now during deer season every patch of woods in Wisconsin looks like it’s alive with radioactive popsicles. I enjoy remembering those times, but nothing could entice me to do that again. I wonder if the other guys feel the same. Two of them are dead and I lost touch with the others. It’s funny how that happens. I wonder what a person would think or feel or do differently if we knew we were doing some activity or saying goodbye to somebody for the last time.

There’s a guy named Victor here in Chiclayo who offered to take me wild burro hunting. He says all we do is drive into the desert and wait for the burros to show up. Maribel says he’s kidding me, but I’ll tell you what; the thought of hunting again without blaze orange clothing, knee deep snow and freezing temperatures is very appealing. If 40 years ago while playing poker at night in the deer camp one of the guys would have said someday I’d be hunting wild burros in a Peruvian desert, everyone would have laughed at the prospect of something so absurd. What a strange world.



  1. I love reading your blog, Tom. I find something to identify with in every post. I'm with you on the cold - if I never see another day below 50 degrees, that'll be fine with me.

  2. Damn! Now that you put it that way, maybe I ought to move to Peru!

    Hello Thomas! I see folks getting snow off of their roofs and wonder if that is something I am suppose to do. Haven't done it yet.

  3. Hi Tami - Are you thinking about moving to Peru to escape the snow and cold, or to go burro hunting? :)