Snow Day

I sit here at my desk in the room where I write…surrounded by white. White walls. White windows. And outside the windows…white crystals and flakes swirl past…settling on window sills and our tiny porch. The line of evergreen trees. The path to my woods.

Gone are the vibrant reds and warm yellows of autumn. The colorful peaks of nature’s splendor. My world’s palette is – once again – on its way toward a rustic simplicity of browns plus green.

Snowstorms trigger time travel…

Circa 1990s…lying in bed at 6am listening to WTSN – a local AM radio station…waiting for the long-time morning show host to drone through the alphabetic list of school closings. My kids were living at home then and had gone to bed praying for mountains of snow to fall overnight. As they got older, sometimes they heard the radio announcement before I did…MOM NO SCHOOL WOO HOO…drifted down the hall from their rooms to mine. The sweet sense of excitement and gift of a DAY OFF never failed to fill those days with a magic all their own. Why is that I wonder…how snow gave us permission to play. To not consider other alternatives. Admittedly we were able to switch gears fairly easily as I worked part-time with a flexible schedule. My husband, a teacher at a private school, never got snow days off when our kids were…well…kids.

I don’t recall all that many snow days when I was growing up. I’m not sure why, unless in the 60s we were expected to power through. Safety issues were not all that prevalent back then. Those were the days before mandatory seatbelts and bike helmets after all. In my memory, school was cancelled when the snow was Two Feet High. Whether that was actually true is not verifiable.

My kids built snowmen and slid on plastic discs down windswept or snow-shovel-swept piles of snow. Over and over. They climbed snow drifts as high as the mailbox atop a pole by the street. And made snow angels in the front yard.

My younger brother and I built snow forts – making snow bricks by (mittened) hand, one by one, carefully stacking them onto short walls until finger numbness began to set in. We would spend most of the day in the front yard, coming inside for lunch, hanging our wet wool coats and snow pants to dry in the hallway, the steam rising while we ate. Filling the kitchen with that distinctive wet wool smell. My mother never took photographs of our snow day exploits – just shooed us out the door after breakfast and then again after lunch. So I rely on memory. After the fort came snowball production & stacking – followed by one sided snowball “fights” with passers by…mostly my sister or the boy next door. We all got along, my siblings and I, during those times outside. Just us. There was something about all that snow and a shared sense of fun and purpose.

Maybe it’s why – when I saw children in this over 55 community the other day – I got a little choked up. Looking out the window I spotted 2 little kids down the path…trudging up a small hill of leftover snow and then repeatedly sliding down. An adult stood nearby. Grandchildren…with their grandpa. Just a guess, but I bet I was right. Lucky them.

The only time I can usually sleep past sunrise is during a snowstorm. Today was one of those days. The highway grows relatively silent as only a few of the bravest drivers hit the road that early.

More snow than we’ve gotten in 2 years announced the very excited meteorologist this morning on our local TV station. Meteorologists LOVE snow storms. They stand outside in the middle of this once-in-a-2-year-blizzard, shivering and freezing with hoods pulled up…announcing the obvious: It Is Snowing.

Every channel is about the snow. Interviews with “plow guy” (always a guy) abound. Reporters on street corners with coats wrapped tight shoving yardsticks into snowbanks, directing videographers toward the view behind them. Look it’s snowing! Look there’s a car off the road! Remember to drive slow!

The fascination with extreme weather – one more onslaught we can’t control – continued for hours.

But you know what? There was no mention of the latest ridiculous political maneuvering in Washington DC. No discussion of who lied to who. I don’t think anyone even mentioned the pandemic. And all the relentless pain and suffering. The increasing numbers of the sick and dying. Hospitals strained to capacity. All in this surreal world that doesn’t make sense anymore. All that explains why my husband and I have to spend Christmas alone for the first time in 45 years.

Mother Nature mercifully took over today and gave at least some of us a brief respite…from all that is so much worse than a simple historic few feet of snow.

It almost felt like a regular snow day.

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photo a day challenge: Windows
photo a day challenge: Colors and letters – White
Ragtag Daily Prompt: Rustic Simplicity

Lens-Artists Challenge: Winter

Lens-Artists Challenge#107: Winter

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Edith Sitwell

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Winter brings back the cold. Reliable get-out-the-thick-sweaters cold. Gotta put on a coat before stepping outside cold. Hats and gloves cold.

Most of the time, however, this season of cold shows off…with spectacular displays of snow. My favorite time is right after a snowfall…while it is still fresh and new.

snow maple

Before the city plows started piling it up at the end of our driveway…

snowplow

That’s how I remember winter days back when we owned a house with a driveway and a walkway and a deck. Where the oh-so-beautiful snow couldn’t remain where nature dropped it. When we had to shovel and snowblow and move it out of the way.

snow deck

Color exploded in the sky our last Christmas at the house where we lived for over 36 years.

sunset69
December 2015

Along with Christmas comes a gathering together of family. Complete with holiday lights and decorations.

Winter also brings about changes at the beach – the sand is groomed into hills to guard against storm surges. At least that’s what the hippy guy from town told me – who I crossed paths with the day I took this picture.

winter beach
Hampton Beach, NH – January 2020

A January walk in the woods isn’t totally devoid of color…if you look closely…

winter berries

And last…but not least…in my growing family winter always meant…
…are you ready for some basketball? 

Both of my children played for their high school teams and enjoyed it immensely. As did my husband and I…watching and enthusiastically cheering in the comfort of a heated gym.

Box Out! ๐Ÿ€ Defense! ๐Ÿ€ Go Team! ๐Ÿ€

Cold as ice

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #73: Cold

We look forward to seeing your interpretation of โ€œcoldโ€. It could be snow and ice, or a frosty window pane, or even your favorite flavor of ice cream!

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What a timely topic this week…

A recent walk turned crunchy as I navigated around an icy mess in the nearby woods. Freezing temperatures had recently followed close behind a cold rain…trapping the remnants of fall leaf survivors.

But I know it’s only a matter of time before the scene…once again…showcases a familiar blanket of white.

 

 

 

Steeped in snow

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo:ย Steep

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Steep is relative….

To you and me this is a steep snowbank…snow piled so high it hides the mailbox at the end of the driveway.

As well as half the tree trunk in the front yard.

snowbank

 

But to Mr. Bill, the five snow covered back steps are way too steep, no matter what…Oh No!

snowy steps
OH NO!!

 

Seeing Double

Lens-Artists Challenge #69: Seeing Double

 …let’s double our pleasure and focus on things that come in twos.

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First: A glimpse back at summer…a pair of seagulls hanging out at the beach.

pair of gulls copy

Next: A reminder of what is coming.
snow post

Two deck posts united in snow after a heavy wet March snowstorm. Looks like frosting to me.

AND…

Because today happens to be Halloween…I couldn’t resist an additional double from the family archives.

halloween 1995
Halloween 1995

A sibling pair of trick or treaters dressed and ready…let’s go!

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Looks Like a Face

This post inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge. The topic this week:ย Looks Like a Face

 

A grill with a sense of humor?

Back in the days of home ownership, we left our gas grill out on the side deck all year. Covered up. It was too big and cumbersome to lug down 4 stairs en route to storage in the garage.

So, why not use it year round?

Winter arrived. Every year…bringing snow and more snow. Burying the deck. Including the grill.

Just needed to shovel a path. Clear away the snow. Bundle up. Grab a flashlight. Move fast. Hope the gas hadn’t run out. Grilling hamburgers one New Year’s eve comes to mind. Much to the surprise of our visiting guests.

Only steps from the kitchen door, the grill was also my route to avoid using the broiler pan. And the resulting greasy, crusty mess. Including scrubbing out all those slats. Never a popular chore…especially for my teenage son who was often recruited for the task.

One snowy January day, this is what greeted me when I opened the side door…

snow face 2005
…either mocking me…or offering a friendly greeting.

I could never decide which.