Snowsuits and winter fun
I recently saw a photo of a friend’s baby with his snowsuit. It was a two-piece set I think but he did not have on any leggings.
There was a snowsuit that was passed down through the family that I remember. It was light green and very silky. You had to be careful when you carried the baby that they did not slip out of your grasp.
There are pictures of my niece and nephews in that suit as well as my own two children. There are also pictures of several other babies in it. While I know that babies outgrow things quickly, that suit was really made to last.
My son had it on when he was walking in the barn during renovations. He was about two at the time. It got dirty, but it washed easily and dried quickly. That last part was an asset since I did not have a dryer at the time.
When you bought a snowsuit, you bought one large enough to fit a couple winters. I remember a jacket my son had that had to have a pin to hold up the zipper. The jacket was fine, but the zipper tended to want to slide down. My daughter had a fuzzy pink coat with pink leggings. She wore that a couple winters before we passed it on. I remember my niece wearing it afterwards.
Hand-me-downs were a thing we all lived with. Very few items were brand new. I grew up that way too. I remember a cousin from near Buffalo who used to give me her clothes. They were expensive things that I was very glad to get. I was truly disappointed when I was bigger than she was. She took after her mother and was petite.
The children always outgrew the snow pants so I was always in the market for snow pants. The jackets survived but the pants got too short. I often shopped the thrift shops. I found many pairs of snow pants there. They did not always match the jackets, but they were serviceable. I kept a pair of those snow pants. When the grandchildren were small, they got wet when they played outside. Those snow pants came in handy.
When I was growing up, I remember coming inside to sit on grandma’s register. There was a heavy cast iron register in the living room. That warmed my feet so that I was ready to go back outside to play.
I recall having a blue jacket with blue snow pants. It did not get wet – I am not sure why. I wore that for several seasons. It had a hood, but most of the time I wore a hat – one knit for me by my mother or grandmother.
When I was older, I had a scarf with a head band to keep it on my head. It was a Christmas gift from my aunt and uncle. It had a furry band that I loved. The only drawback was that the headband hurt me when I laughed. It was no good to wear out to play.
I always had homemade mittens. My grandmother and my mother knit. Although the mittens got wet, I had plenty of them so that I always had a dry pair.
Our children often played outdoors in the snow. They did not seem to mind the cold. They played out for a long time. Oh, they came in to get a dry pair of mittens, but that was it. If they wanted to build a snowman, they came to get me. I had to lift the head up to the top.
One year I made myself a snowsuit. I got tired of the snow always going down my back when we were out playing. I got some quilted material and started in. The result was not exactly pretty, but it was serviceable. It kept me warm and I got no more snow down my back. I used it to shovel, too. I did not have to worry about getting cold.
I was happy when the one-piece snowsuits were in fashion. They not only kept the children warm; their clothes did not get wet either. The drawback was that you also had to have a jacket to wear when you did not need snow pants.
I have not looked at snow gear for the little ones lately since I have no one to buy for. I am not sure what the fashion is these days. Do they still wear one-piece suits? If that is not the fashion maybe some new designer needs to come up with one.
Ski fashions are different. They are made for the skier to look good. There are many new types of fabric used that are supposed to keep the skier dry and warm. When you go out on the slopes you definitely want to be fashionable – after all you might meet someone of interest.
Living in the country we did not think about fashionable. We looked for something that was serviceable. In later years the grandchildren played with plastic sleds and saucers. They were certainly lighter to carry up the hill but the old runner sled was till the best.
One winter we had a raccoon for a pet. Someone captured him and we took him when they were tired of him. You cannot just let an animal who has lived in captivity lose to fend for themselves.
The kids named him Rascal after a raccoon in a book. Rascal loved to play in the snow. He rode on the sleds and waited for the children to carry him back up the hill. We have some movies of him doing that. We had a lot of fun with that little guy.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.