Posted by: jevcat | January 27, 2011

Snow Days

I have always loved snow and felt a little cheated those winters when we got little or none.  Let’s just say I won’t feel cheated this year.

Since Christmas we’ve averaged snow about once a week, from two feet Boxing Day to a foot and a half yesterday.  It began snowing about 7:00 yesterday morning and was still at it when we went to bed at about 12:30 A.M.  I awoke this morning to a world looking as though someone had gone mad with a box of cotton wool, anything vertical bearing a white burden, like the graceful African women who carry bundles on their heads, and a pool of silver light flooding all through a slit in the clouds that have now closed in again, turning the sky back to pewter.

Photo by Roger Bingler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freelancing from home doesn’t give me the luxury of a “snow day” off from work, but I remember childhood days tramping in the snow, followed by hot cocoa with whipped cream or marshmallows – or both, when the decision was just too much.  Come to think of it, I remember adult snow days like that, too.

One winter years ago – I was unemployed then, too – I had an interview scheduled for the day after a snowstorm.  Looking longingly at the fluffy white stuff piled outside my window, I sighed and put on business uniform:  pantyhose, suit, blouse, and was about to apply war paint (makeup) when the phone rang.  It was the office of the man I was meant to see, telling me he was not able to get into the city, and asking to reschedule.  Professionally, I reassured her that I understood perfectly, agreed to the suggested replacement date, and hung up the phone.  Then I flung my arms in the air, whooped, ripped off the suit and pulled on sweats and boots, and off I went.  I spent hours walking, building a small snow man and snow woman in a vacant lot, and finally lying down to make snow angels (and being somewhat embarrassed when another adult walked past and looked at me strangely).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy the community of neighbors digging our cars out together, helping each other, and I’ve been known to surprise friends by digging their cars out for fun, digging my own out having provided too much fun to stop.  One Shrove Tuesday, after the pancake supper at church, I was lured into a snowball fight with the 13-year-old son of a friend in the church garden that ended only when his very proper younger sister got caught in the crossfire and began to cry – not because she was hurt but because we’d gotten snow on her coat.  Still, when there was snow on the ground again the next year at Shrove Tuesday, all he had to do was look at me and say “You wanna’?” and we were out there again.  If I still had my old Flexible Flyer with the bright red rails, I’d still use it.

Snow always does bring me back to childhood, though:  At maybe ten, ruining my brand new pair of white go-go boots (I’m dating myself here) by a long tramp through drifts with my best friend and her father (at that age, I had not yet learned that dress boots are for dress, not walking), across the George Washington bridge to a luncheonette that had the best hot cocoa, and home.  Or in teen years, taking my younger (eight years) brother to Fort Tryon Park to play, where a glaze of ice on top of the snow let us pull up bits of crust to use as shields, freeing the soft snow underneath for use as ammunition.  In the end, it was him asking “Can’t we go home now?” and me, the older one, begging for just a little longer.

Age does bring more caution, though, the beginnings of fear, and the knowledge that a time will likely come when I can no longer go out to play in the snow.  All the more reason to enjoy it now!  Besides, I do have cocoa and marshmallows on the shelf …

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Responses

  1. If you lived closer, I’d gladly pay you to do our digging. I just shoveled snow for the first time in about 12 years (the last time being back when I lived with my Grandma in Yonkers). I helped Lynn dig her car out, though (despite the fact that I’m ultra-sensitive to cold and hate having any contact with snow) because it was the right thing to do…and because I love her! Still, this makes me long for Manhattan and a place where snow-clearing is someone else’s job. I’m happy, for you, that you can enjoy it. May you find many more such (free, God-given) blessings to console you, in these hard times.

  2. There is a certain manic glee that accompanies a snow day…
    I love what you shared.
    blessings
    jane

  3. I remember that day crossing the GW. Man was it ever cold…our mouths had turned square! And the hot chocolate was never a lucious as it was that day! Thanks for br4inging my Dad back to me even if just for a short time!


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