Homemade snow pants of thick wool, ice caked on my jacket sleeves and on my mittens: I head out with my best friend, Rita doll, who’s decked out in her brown velvet cape my mother made. She has a shoebox for a sleigh and away we go to a magic winter land—over huge hills we ride, snow dancing in our faces. “Time to come in!” my mother calls. Always too soon. Gerri Patterson was born in Saint Paul and has lived here for most of her life. She loves cooking, traveling, taking photos of interesting places, and eating good food; she also loves theater and writing. Wine is a plus.