Winter may be difficult for some boomers but it’s part of our lives

Hey baby it’s COLD outside. Too cold, maybe, for our aging bodies? BoomerCafé’s Ranter-In-Residence, Carrier Slocomb, sees too much of that kind of thinking! His advice? Give up on winter if you must, but …

You know what doesn’t make sense? The older Caroline and I get the more we hear about how hard winter is on our peers; the result being that many are heading south. Since most of our peers are born and bred winter-folks, it irks me that they’re packing up and pushing off.

To hear some boomers talk about it, it’s as if winter is this endless row of fallen trees blocking all the exits. There’s such anxiety attachedthat it turns what should be a delightful three months into a negative event, one thundering grimly toward us like a species-slaying comet.

slocomb_snowangelPersonally, I accept winter’s many inconveniences. The question is, why can’t you? You once did, right? Decades ago, you actually embraced winter like a smitten lover. Jeez, you could hardly wait to jump into your snow pants and galoshes, slam on your hat and mittens before zipping out the door to zero-in on the tallest snowdrift.

It was all about the plows then, wasn’t it? You’d run straight to your road to see if the trucks had come through. An unplowed road meant everything -– it meant that the world’s best sledding hill remained untouched. There was no hating winter back then; certainly not where sleds and wicked-fast toboggans were concerned.

You know, I’m glad we see eye-to-eye on this.

slocomb_boysThe truth is, there’s much we can do to bring back those little pockets of joy we enjoyed as kids. I’m as guilty as anyone for having lost lots of little kid joys, but let me suggest this: sometimes it takes a kick in the head, a rocking religious moment, the sound advice of a terrific wife or friend to get right with the little joys of living again.

Yet this is where winter rests for so many of us. Dissed by poets, spat on by big-time novelists, and treated miserably by travel writers pushing sunny agendas. Winter, the season, endures as some malignant counterpart to treasured spring and summer; almost (okay, maybe I exaggerate this) as if winter belongs to tribes of chilly Goths and Metal-heads.

Reach back a bit, will you? You didn’t give up on the beach because the sand’s grittier than you remember it being, and you haven’t clocked-out on children because they’re unpredictable, loud, and needy. So why are you now divorcing winter and leaving it for warmer climates?

You realize there’s a metaphor here: one saying that, like it or not, we boomers are in the winter of our lives and that we needn’t run from it. Those little pockets of joy still remain: sled, skate, ski, and toss snowballs; borrow the neighbor kids and teach them the lost art of building a snow castle. Snowshoe with your spouse or friends through white woods and meadows, sucking in chilly new air, all the while falling in love with winter again. After all, it’s not just the season, it’s also the age we now find ourselves in.


  1. Thank you! You remind us that there is much more to winter than just bad roads, snow, shoveling drives, and freezing temperatures. It is also a time of life that we now, as boomers, find ourselves in. There is still much to enjoy and times to remember and to share with others, especially those younger than ourselves. So don your coats, hats and gloves and if you can, go out and make the most of the winter weather and as you said, “the age we now find ourselves in.”

  2. You are more than welcome to all the winter you want. Due to an illness that makes cold uncomfortable, I’ll take warmth any time. Your attitude appears to be that if you like, we all should. Sorry, but one size doesn’t fit all.

    I spent nearly 40 years in Michigan. with Raynaud’s condition and SAD. Now I can reward myself and be anywhere I wish. Florida is nice this time of year. Bermuda shorts and tee shirts are far more comfortable than bundling up like Charley Brown where one can’t move. Gads, we have plants blooming as I write this. Keep your dreary bleached landscape.

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