Winter’s August | Things I’ve Learned From Strangers

Well, here we are. A good chunk into winter by now. You know what? I actually like winter. Well, what I really like is snow. I actually don’t really know what to do with winter. 

I don’t even mind the cold that much. But recently — guiltily — I’ve been craving those warmer, summery days. I don’t like that feeling. No one likes feeling guilty. I don’t like being the type of person who counts the days down to summer. There must be something good here and now. But, I still think about summer, I must admit.

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

During the summertime, I work at an ice cream shop in Cape Cod. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that in one of these columns before. Then again, I don’t know if there’s anyone reading religiously enough to notice — or if there’s anyone other than my mom and my roommates reading at all. 

As my friend Georgia will say, I work in the frozen treat industry. Let it be known that it’s a very serious, important title. We have the fate of children’s happiness and teenagers’ dates in our hands. You try carrying that weight on your shoulders! 

I love working at the ice cream shop. It’s a great place to people-watch, which, as a matter of fact, I like to do from time to time. 

One of my favorite people who I came across on the job was a little boy named August. 

It was August’s birthday and his mom was throwing a party for him on our shop’s patio. We don’t usually do parties, but truth be told, August’s mom told us a sweet, little story about the family’s love for the shop and it won us over pretty quickly. 

Note to future self: sweet, little stories always work. 

Naturally, the party fell on a beautiful August day, which makes me sure that Mother Nature will come together with the Gods that you believe in to give your child a splendid birthday so long as their child is named after their birth month. 

August arrived in a little bow tie, suspenders and some seersucker shorts — an outfit that screamed, “I’m untouchable.” 

The guest list seemed incredibly V.I.P.: Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and a couple of August’s friends along with their parents. 

August — Auggie, if you will — got a gigantic banana split that we stuck a candle in for him to blow out. I hoped his wish would come true. The partygoers danced, chatted and sat outside until the sun set back in the sky — something you can do when you’re named after your birth month, but your birth month is August and not February. 

I don’t know why I love this story so much, or why Auggie has stayed with me. Maybe it’s just because I think Auggie was such a cool little dude. Maybe it’s because I’ve tried to channel his untouchable energy ever since — not by physically wearing a bow tie and suspenders, but wearing them emotionally.

As I’m writing this, I’m realizing something. Right now, Auggie is probably not on the patio of the ice cream shop — he is somewhere else and has probably traded in his bowtie and suspenders for a pair of snow pants and mittens (possibly the ones with the string to attach them so the mittens don’t get lost). 

He goes to school, plays at recess with his friends and his favorite subject is probably science (he seems to be the slime-making type). He probably eats mac and cheese on snow days, hangs out with his mom, watches TV or makes a sledding hill in his front yard. 

The point is: he’s probably still having lots of fun, but winter fun. Because now he’s Winter’s August.

I think I need to take a page out of Auggie’s book. It’s not about finding summer during winter, it’s about appreciating what you’ve got right now. Even if I don’t make slime or sled down hills anymore, there’s a lot of stuff out there for me to enjoy as well. 

I can go to the movies. I can bake cookies. I can finally try to read “A Court of Thorns and Roses” so my friends will stop hating me. 

Actually, you know what? On second thought, maybe I will make a sledding hill. It sounds almost appealing now. If you see me in the park by my house after the next fresh snow, working like a dog, you’ll know why — I’m channeling my inner August. 

I highly recommend you do, too. 

Don’t count down the days until summer. February, March and April would miss you if you did.

One Comment

  1. Hi Lilli, I am from the other side of the world and I was searching for blogs people might have written on winter when I happened to find your article. It was great reading how you are spending your winter and your nostalgia for summer. Lovely writing.

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