Snow Day! Snow Day! Okay, not quite the snow days my family and friends are having in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Boston, and New York. In fact, they would probably laugh that our city shut down last night and this morning due to a dusting of snow and little layer of sleet.
For those of us that run barefoot many more days than not, this is a snowstorm. Just look at what I saw when I looked out the window this morning.
My neighbor had a white roof.
My garden in front had actual definition. I frowned thinking of my poor agapantha under that old sheet. "Be tough," I whispered.
Best shot comes from my picnic table. One can really tell how much snow has fallen by checking out the picnic table.
Wow! Look how high that's piled.
Okay, I'm done trying to Wow you. You can stop laughing. I truly am still a Yankee in real life. Twenty-six years living below the Snowbelt hasn't erased my memories of a real snowstorm. I recall getting my car stuck in snowdrifts, shoveling snow until my back ached. Scraping ice off my windshield. Shoveling out my driveway, again, and again, and again, and again...
When I was a kid, I didn't know any better. The weather was what it was. I eagerly awaited the first snowfall, always asking my dad if that stuff on the neighbors roof was snow. "No, just frost," he'd say. Until that one day each year the depth of the color and consistency of the substance on the roof, and the lawn, and the street indeed declared that snow had arrived.
My older brother and I ached to sled at Skinner's Hill. For the ice to freeze on the lagoon so we could use the new/used skates we traded for the previous year's now small size. (The bike shop switched to tables of used skates come every November.)
Often we had to wait a few snowfalls to get enough snow on the hill to sled or enough cold days for the lagoon to be safe. Often we argued with our parents for more minutes to play outside at night -- the entire neighborhood of kids out in the cold air making snow forts and sledding in the yards.
"Ten more minutes, please, Dad?" We pleaded, we begged. We offered to trade minutes off the next night for more that particular night. We peeled off our layers of socks and snow pants, our boots and wet mittens, snow covered hats and scarves, winter jackets and sweaters. With our faces scorched red with the cold and our noses running we stated our case. "Please, ten more minutes."
What the hell were we thinking?
I can't believe I walked every Minnesota morning to school, walked home for lunch and back to school for the afternoon. Then home again. I played outside until dinner and most nights went out again after.
Even if I stayed at school for lunch, I ice skated. Our "recess" came with our lunch hour. The firemen would shovel off a square at all the elementary schools and shoot out water to form a rink. Bundled in my winter attire, I was far from being able to imitate Peggy Fleming on ice. But, my imagination made me believe I was her as I swirled and skated backwards.
But age and awareness always seems to come creeping. When I was a student at Michigan State and couldn't afford a bus pass winter quarter, I became more than aware of the cold. My classes always on the opposite end of campus from where ever I lived. No longer immune to the cold, I shivered. Froze my ass off walking, each step swift and hellbent for the warmth found at the end of journey. Basically had no ass from walking so fast.
More years again in Colorado, then Utah and Connecticut bound me to the cold. I still skied. I still shoveled. I still shivered. One day in New Haven, while scraping ice off my windshield, a car came by and splashed slush all over my boots and coat. I looked up to the sky and took a vow that someday I'd live in a warm place.
Even though there were fingernail marks in the freeway all the way from Connecticut to Texas (my mindset of warmth was more of the southern California variety) I had to admit I was lured by the idea of pansies growing in my yard in winter.
I do have pansies in my yard. I will run barefoot again in a few more weeks. But, they don't make heaters here like they do in Minnesota. The high today will only be 34 degrees and I'm cold. I'm wearing two pair of socks and two sweaters. Sitting under a wool blanket.
Last night I listened to the sleet hitting my skylight and awoke not to a winter wonderland this morning, but as close to it as one can get living below the snow line.
I'm fixing to brave the cold to visit the grocery. Invited friends over for Chicken Chili.
Thinking I won't be hanging my sheets out on that line today.
It's a SNOW DAY!