Walk outside once a day and close your eyes for a minute. Open slowly and embrace the cold. We're fortunate to live in this snow globe of a region.
As a relatively new parent, and transplant to the Upper Plains, I've reflected more and more on the different reality of our twin boys compared to my upbringing.
One of the biggest differences is winter. My wife Mariel and I grew up outside of Washington D.C. in the metropolitan suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. People still regularly speak about the Blizzard of 1996, which dumped a few of feet of snow on a Mid-Atlantic region not well equipped for such events.
Snow is a real treat back home. When visiting over the holidays I've made a point of joining my nieces and nephews when they shriek and plaster their noses on the windows. The sight of flurries is awe-inspiring. After nearly a decade in the plains I forgot how special that feeling is.
I have to say, little Whitten and Prine are some of the most fortunate 2 ½ year-olds in the world. Sure, winter is long and they can only handle so much cold, but they are growing up at the International Peace Garden. With nearly 2,400 acres to explore, winter is not to be taken for granted nor wished away.
The boys are learning to toboggan. Skiing and curling, hopefully next year. It's the simple exploration that they are most interested in. The wonderment in their bright blue eyes is beautiful. The hoarfrost. The moose tracks. The light and persistent shedding of snow by the aspens on the sunnier days.
Walk outside once a day and close your eyes for a minute. Open slowly and embrace the cold. We're fortunate to live in this snow globe of a region. Let our children and grandchildren remind us of how special this season truly is and how many people around the world may never see it.
Tim Chapman is the CEO at the International Peace Garden on the border of Manitoba and North Dakota. The Garden is open year-round and grooming ski trails for the first time this winter. Rent one of our cabins and enjoy a winter weekend that only the forest of the Turtle Mountains can provide.