Posted tagged ‘snow day’

“Winter invites white; white invites silence; silence invites peace. You see, there is so much peace in walking on the snow!”

December 6, 2014

The rain started last night and continued into this morning. The day is dark, the sky a pale grey. It’s a stay at home day. I’m thinking I’ll do my Christmas cards and maybe bring up a few decorations from the cellar. Last night I was able to get all the outside lights to work with the timers. One comes on just a few minutes later than the other, but I can live with that. My street looks beautiful as so many houses are decorated with lights. One house has a lighted train car on its lawn which looks as if it’s moving as the lights flash around the wheel.

When I was a kid, I didn’t care about the weather except for snow. I remember getting excited watching the first few flakes. They were usually small and took their time falling to the ground. Every kid wanted those small flakes to get bigger and multiply to cover the ground with inches of snow. It wasn’t just for a snow day but for the fun the snow would bring. We could make caves, have snowball fights and go sledding down our street, a giant hill. The TV didn’t list closed school announcements in those days. The fire department blew their no school signal around seven, and it could be heard all over town. I swear the shouts of joy right after could also be heard all over town. If the snow was still heavily falling, we waited inside until my mother would let us out. I remember when the snow finally stopped and the sun came out. The world was at its most beautiful. The snow was untouched, no footprints, no car tracks. The sun glistened off the snow and lights twinkled and shined from the tops of drifts as if diamonds had been strewn about.

It didn’t take long before the snow had footprints and the marks of sled rails. The first few sled marks were rusty but the snow quickly cleaned them. We all had wooden sleds with metal steering in the front you could turn left and right. You took off running and jumped stomach down on the sled, legs from the knees down in the air and you hoped for the ride of your life.

“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.”

January 21, 2014

Snow is coming. It will start this afternoon and go all night. The sky already has the look of snow about it. It is quite cold and will get colder. Yesterday I filled the bird feeders. Today I have a few things to pick up, and I assume I’ll be jockeying with the bread and milk crowd for a parking space. It always astounds me that everyone is out of bread and milk just before the snow falls. It must be a cultural phenomenon.

The weather men are hedging their forecasts. One station predicts between 8 and 10 inches while the other says between 8 and 12. The only thing they agree on is the Cape will get more snow than the rest of the state. Oh joy!

I remember when I was a kid hoping for a snow day. I’d watch the snow fall looking through the picture window in the living room. A street light was just at the bottom of the front lawn, and I’d watch the snow fall in the light. It was always so pretty glinting as it fell. In those days, the TV didn’t scroll the closed schools, but the fire station in town blew the signal early in the morning. When I was older, in high school in a different town, I had to listen to the radio to find out if my school was closed. It never mattered how old I was, a day off from school was cause for celebration. It was like an unexpected present.

My dad never let a snow storm slow him down. He always went to work. He’d get up early and shovel to the car then clear it to get it on the road. In the old days he had chains on his tires then when they went out of style, he had snow tires put on his car at the start of every winter. The other tires were stored in the cellar waiting for better weather. We lived on a hill, and it was tough going up and down. About in the middle the hill rose a bit, and that’s where cars would slide going up. Sometimes going down was so slippery cars would take the side road and avoid the hill altogether. For us kids, a no school day meant a day sledding on the hill. I can still remember the excitement of holding the sled, running, jumping on and speeding down that hill. We had the joy of flying.

“About the woodlands I will go / To see the cherry hung with snow.”

February 8, 2013

Sorry for the late morning, but I met friends for our monthly breakfast. We worked together for years and are all retired now so this is our way of staying in touch. During breakfast, the snow started. The flakes are small and wet so none are sticking, but that will happen soon enough. I bought seed and suet this morning so I need to fill the feeders as soon as I finish here.

My car is backed into the driveway, the best spot to get it freed after the plowing. I have no reason to leave the house so I’ll hunker down and watch the weather on TV. I got a chuckle yesterday when I read in the paper that a weatherman calls it weather porn when people are mesmerized by the news and pictures of extraordinary weather on TV.

I still get excited when it snows but not the same way I did when I was a kid. In those days a big snow storm meant sledding down the huge hill on which we lived, building snow forts, having snow ball fights and, if we were lucky, a snow day. We’d be up early hoping to hear the fire whistle announce no school, and if it did, we’d cheer and get dressed right away to play in the snow. On went the snow pants, a sweater, the winter coat, a scarf, mittens, a hat and boots.

I remember the first few runs down the hill on my wooden sled after the big storm. The snow ruts from the sled’s runners were red, rusty from the sled sitting in the cellar all summer and fall. After a couple of runs, the rust would disappear, and the sled would go  so much faster. We’d hold the sled with both hands, run for all we were worth and jump on the sled, stomachs down and feet in the air then whiz down the hill. Steering was never easy. The front of the sled turned left or right but not very far. Hitting a snow bank was common. We’d hope to go all the way down the hill into the field at the bottom. That was an accomplishment. We’d grab the sled’s rope, usually icy by then, and walk back up the hill for another run.

The little kids sledded down the hill in the backyard. That way they were off the street and under the watchful eyes of parents.  Most had wooden sleds but a few had metal flying saucers which went wherever as there was no way to control them. You just slid down the hill, sometimes in circles. The little kids always walked back up the hill along the side yards so they wouldn’t wreck the run.

By the time we went in the house through the cellar, ice was stuck to our clothes, mittens were soaked, snow was inside the boots and we were shivering, but I don’t remember being cold. I just remember those runs as the most fun of the whole winter.

“Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity”

November 24, 2012

Okay, I will not bore you with today’s weather report. Just think of the last several days. To add to the misery, it’s damp and chilly, and I just put my second load in the washing machine. Even I couldn’t take another day walking around the laundry bag by the cellar door.

When I was a kid, I didn’t really care much about the weather except when it snowed. The first one of us to notice falling flakes would yell “Snow!” and the rest of us would run and jostle each other for the center spot at the picture window, the best vantage point for snow watching. I can still remember the excitement a snow storm would bring and how at night the snow flakes glittered when they fell below the street light. We’d watch then keep going back to the window to keep track of the amount of snow as those flakes carried all our hopes of mounting inches and no school.

When I got older, snow was far less welcomed. It meant shoveling the walk and getting the car free of the mounds of snow left in front of it by the plow. I begrudged snow days as each one meant going deeper into June before school was out for the summer. Snow was an inconvenience.

Snow and I are on far better terms now that I’m retired. There is no hurry getting the car loose as I have nowhere to go. Let the school extend forever. It doesn’t affect me at all. Skip, my factotum, is also my plow guy. He comes and shovels the walk, gets my car loose and shovels the back steps for Gracie so she can get into the yard. Sometimes he doesn’t come until late as he also does the library and several other houses. I don’t care just as long as he comes.

Even in my anti-snow period, I loved watching the snow fall, still do. I always turn on my back light and leave the inside door open so I can stand there and watch the flakes as they glimmer and shine in the light. I figure there aren’t many things as beautiful as a snow flake.

“Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, Filling the sky and earth below, Over the housetops, over the street, Over the heads of the people you meet. Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along.”

January 5, 2011

The sun is shining, but the day still looks bleak. When I look out the window, I can see the dead leaves and stark empty branches of the trees which shaded the deck all summer. I don’t like winter, not because of the cold but because of the lack of color.

The other night I had eggs and toast for dinner. The eggs were scrambled with cheese, and the meal was delicious. Toast to me is comfort food. When we were sick, my mother would make us toast. She always served it cut in half on a small plate. The toast the other night made me think of her.

I have a new pattern going: a day out of the house then a day inside to recuperate. Yesterday I went to the movies and saw The King’s Speech. Last night my muscles screamed, and I woke up several times. Each time I did, I moved around to find where the pain seemed less so I could go back to sleep. Poor Gracie had no choice but to move with me. She and I went from one side of the bed to the other. I could slide around until I found a spot, but she’d have to get off, wait, then join me. She was kind enough to sleep in with me. Both of us slept until quite late.

When I was a kid, January always seemed a let down. Christmas was over, and we were back in school. No days off loomed unless we were lucky enough to get a snow day. I remember when snow started in the early evening, and I’d watch from the picture window in the living room hoping to see the sidewalks and streets disappear until a white blanket. Big thick wet flakes never gave much hope. They were usually teasers. The smaller flakes had the best potential. I’d watch a little TV then check back at the window hoping I’d see nothing but white. At bedtime, I’d hope that while I was sleeping the snow would pile as high as the hydrants so we could stay home and play all day. Back then, the fire station alarm announced no school, but I don’t remember the call signal. I just remember my mother telling us not to bother getting dressed for school: there wasn’t any.

We’d eat breakfast as quickly as we could, put on all our winter layers and head outside. Snow was never to be wasted.


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