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Young Writers Project: 'Riding Cows And Hot Cocoa'

Ava Kendrick, a sophomore at Harwood Union High School, describes winter in Vermont – hat head, frozen noses and crazy antics – in her poem Riding Cows and Hot Cocoa.";s:

Ava Kendrick, a sophomore at Harwood Union High School, describes winter in Vermont – hat head, frozen noses and crazy antics – in her poem “Riding Cows and Hot Cocoa.”

Riding Cows and Hot Cocoa
By Ava Kendrick
Grade 10, Harwood Union High School

I've been sitting here thinking:
how do I best describe my winter?
I could tell you about the snow
or the heavy blankets or the fuzzy socks.
Of course, I know YOU all know
about that sort of thing.

I think the best way
for me to describe my winter
is to tell you a tale of adventure:

I live on a paved road,
just feet from where it turns to dirt.
On that road,
a little ways down,
is a farm.
It isn't a particularly special farm
to anyone but me.
It has a nice view;
there are green fields with cows,
and some other fields with corn.

Nothing really interesting.

But to me, it's a very special place.
There was one day,
one of those days where
you wake up 20 minutes late,
jump out of bed in a panic,
only to look outside
and see about ten feet of snow,
and crawl back into bed,
knowing that school's canceled.

I had gotten back up again at nine,
a novelty feeling for me,
and received a phone call.
I was soon bundled up in all my snow gear,
trudging along down the road.

In retrospect, the whole thing was
pretty insane.
Riding on the back of a 2,000-pound steer,
the only source of warmth, said animal,
unable to see because it's a blizzard,
riding downhill through feet of snow,
taking three hours to go about half a mile and back.
I'm not going to lie,
it was kind of crazy.

But running back to my house,
farmer friend in tow,
doing front flips into snow banks to make body impressions,
walking in funny ways to make prints,
snow angels in the middle of the road,
our laughter the only sound
because of that special silencing power snow has.

Running back to my house,
both changing into my pajamas because
we are bad at preparation,
curling on the couch with hot cocoa
and about fifty marshmallows,
and marathoning “Doctor Who”...
this is one of my favorite memories.

And I know it isn't the best description
of my whole winter,
because obviously not every day is like that.
But I think
it best captures the attitude.
Because to me, 
winter is more than snow blanketing the ground
and soundless nights,
and skiing.
No – winter is hot cocoa and marshmallows,
and cuddles and bad TV.
It's peeling wet snowpants off
and shaking ice chunks out of your hair.
It's hot showers and numb toes
and fun with friends.
It's making kick-ass forts in snowbanks, 
and bringing ramen and warm cider out to it,
and camping out until your butt is frozen,
and going back inside and curling up in front of the fire.
Winter is the little things like
going through four pairs of gloves in one day,
and pulling snow chunks out of your boots,
and pushing people into snowpiles.
It's falling on icy patches,
and laughing about hat hair,
and having a frozen nose,
and being unable to talk because your face is so numb.

Winter is more than a time of year to me.
Winter is the little things,
all the happy memories.
And winter ... winter is pretty great.

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