For those of us who make peace with winter by having fun with it, this has been kind of a rough one. The lack of snow has curtailed most of my outdoor activities. My snowshoes haven't yet left the house; the one time I considered it, we ended up just taking a walk in the woods instead. My snowmobile gear got its first (and, likely, only) use last week during a brief ride in my old haunt of Old Forge. And today was just the second time I took my XC skis for a spin. I headed out to the Paul Smiths VIC (one of the only spots around where trails are open) and for the most part followed the same path I hiked back in October. Conditions weren't tops (alternately sticky because of the temperature and slick because of all the ice beneath), but it was just good--really good--to get out in the woods. I know it's liturgical color is purple, but maybe--just maybe--we can have white Lent?