Dexter's general feeling about winter is that it engulfs and shadows the beauty of summertime. In the story, we read that Dexter usually breaks out his skis when 'the long, Minnesota winter shut(s) down like the white lid of a box.' As he skis, he notices the remnant evidence of a summer past. It makes him sad and angry all at the same time; the destructiveness of winter haunts him, and he feels trapped.
At these times the country gave him a feeling of profound melancholy--it offended him that the links should lie in enforced fallowness, haunted by ragged sparrows for the long season. It was dreary, too, that on the tees where the gay colors fluttered in summer there were now only the desolate sand-boxes knee-deep in crusted ice.
In the story, this winter portrait foreshadows the loss of Dexter's dreams, of marriage to Judy Jones and of happiness in his personal life. Both his dreams and the delectable Judy's youthful beauty are destroyed by pain, suffering, and loss. Like the dreary Minnesota winter Dexter detests, the summer of young, infatuated love is but an illusion.