Posted tagged ‘snowball fights’

“December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory…”

February 12, 2015

Earlier this morning I rolled over and looked out the window. I swear I saw the sun. Later, when I woke up, it was a gray day. It was yesterday and the day before and the day before that. I could keep going but you get the idea. That sun must have been a dream, a wanting and most of all a hoping.

More snow is in the forecast, light snow starting later today. I am passed screaming. I can only sigh. The temperature is going to plummet. It will be 12˚ tonight and 9˚tomorrow night. The 20’s during the day will seem downright tropical. Where did I put that Hawaiian shirt? I’m thinking mai tai, many mai tais, all with umbrellas.

In Northern Ghana this is the harmattan, the season when a cold-dry dusty wind blows from the desert. It is also the hottest time of the year. In Bolga, where I lived, every day this time of year was over 100˚. The cold shower was a blessing, a relief from the heat. I didn’t have a fan, never even thought of buying one. The heat was something to abide just as the snow is. The nights during the harmattan brought relief from the relentless heat of the days. The temperatures dropped as low as the 70’s. I was cold and even had a wool blanket on my bed. The early mornings were brisk, even chilly. They were a delight.

In the midst of the harmattan I thought of home and winter. I thought of snow but it was an idealized version conjured by my imagination. The snow was pristine, perfectly white. Snowmen with carrot noses, buttons and top hats sat on front lawns. Kids sledded down hills. Snowball fights were fun. Cars made a crunching sound from the snow as they drove down the street. We all looked healthy with red cheeks.

It is easy to get discontent with extremes so we have to remind ourselves that seasons change. The heat ends when the rains come. Spring always follows winter.

“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.

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