Lumberjacks don't swim


I have to say that I’m really enjoying this Indian Summer were experiencing right now - but at some point, we have to have some winter.
A friend of mine said she was missing the summer and we were only 28 weeks away. I thought, 'what is it about girls and the sun'.
Maybe that has a little to do with my wife is living in a different state. I just don’t get women.
They love to be in the sun, like cats or something. Think about it. They both lay there stretched out in the sun and then go to get some milk.
It’s not even three weeks from Christmas, it’s 60 degrees out and I hear complaining about the cold. I love a little snow around Christmas. Making a snowman with the daughter when she’s in town always makes me laugh. I don’t even really mind shoveling. My L1-L5 lumbar region tends to disagree with me, but I win the battle. It may very well win the war.
Christmas is about snow and blustery wind and Santa Claus. It’s about Matt Emmett’s digital Christmas display that’s so good it almost brings tears to your eyes. And I love me some Minions, so nice addition Matt.
I love carrying in packages at night when it’s cold and windy and then settling down inside to wrap. It’s old fashioned, but I’m old too. And with my new handy-dandy Carbon2Cobalt magazine, I can get the ‘fashioned’, too. That’s a great clothing magazine with all this lumberjack clothing – heavy cotton pull overs, cableknit sweaters that look just right over the colorful flannels with “featherweight cotton button panels” – whatever the hell that means.
In New York City on one of my trips out there, someone told my daughter they didn’t know her dad was a lumberjack – Damn right.
I wasn’t wearing flannel but may have been wearing jeans and boots. Probably had a hoodie on that gave me a bit more girth than this old body normally carries. But whatever intimidates.
Anyway, that’s Christmas to me. And if I can get into a big city for a couple days for the holidays that just makes it all the better.
Two years ago we went to Bryant Park and the Bank of America Winter Village. There’s this big ice skating rink that you have to wait about two hours to get on, but it has all these little shops around the park where you can sample sweet and savories, and get business cards for online ordering. You can try some of the best chocolate in the world. Street food, clothing and Transformers made out of machinist gears. I have a 20 lb. BumbleBee in my house that Taylor saw me looking up at like a little kid in Higbee’s Toy Store. I wanted to touch it, but the sign said DON’T TOUCH!! (I did it anyway) It sits in my living room now. She went back and bought it and carried it around the park like a bowling ball in a canvass bag. Apparently she bonked some kid in the head. What love is that for a father!
I took about six different business cards and ordered her some stuff right from that very park. We had some Mexican food at one of the crowded stops and looked at this one cheese shop where they actually scraped melted cheese from this huge cheese bowl and made some kind of cheesie noodle thing right in front of you.  New Yorkers.
We stopped at an ice cream place and shared this waffle cone the size of a bassoon before heading back to the subway to get to our hotel. We walked by the Rockefeller Center to see the tree. It wasn’t decorated yet, but I swear to you that tree stump goes three stories down into the Center and they literally build scaffolding with flooring every 10 feet up the tree and people walk around on those platforms decorating that thing.
But you can’t do that in the summer. You just can’t. And actually its no damn fun experiencing all that in 60-degree weather. It has to be cold. Snow is an added plus on those particular nights of dropping quite a bit of cash, but that’s what you should do when you’re making those memories.
That trip was highlighted by a stop at Jack O’Doyles for the second half of the Vikings/Buffalo Bills game. Now that was a memory. I would go to New York City every year around the holidays. I hate flying, but I love landing. So it’s worth it.
I want to take my family into Chicago for the holiday season, too. I think that would be rip. Christmas lights everywhere. Head to Navy Pier, a little easy shopping, some wine, and different foods.
But for that type of winter getaway, I need the cableknit, the boots, the jeans, the beard, the hat, the hot chocolate, the spicy food, the smell of impending snow (which to me has always been the smell of potatoes – don’t ask I have no clue), the blustery breeze that leaves a chill in the bones until you step into the next warm space and get goosebumps.
It’s all part of winter, but where is it anymore?
I need the winter. That friend can have the summer.
Summer’s fine for swimming. Lumberjacks don’t swim, but that’s Beside the Point.
Chuck Vandenberg is editor and co-owner of Pen City Current and can be reached at

Beside the Point, commentary, opinion, editorial, Sunday, Chuck Vandenberg, winter, New York City, shopping, lumberjacks, summer, friends, trips, getaway, Carbon2Cobalt, family, holidays,


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here