We knew that this storm was coming. With a stocked refrigerator, a stacked pile of wood, library books and DVDs renewed, and a big old gas can refilled, we were ready for Storm Nemo to cover us in snow. Oh boy, did it ever!
When the snow began to fall on Friday, it was big flakes, falling gently upon our little plot of land. By evening, however, these flakes were smaller, and they were accompanied by gusts of wind. After the children fell asleep for the night, my husband and I drew back the curtains in the living room, and together we watched the snow fall under the glow of the street lamp. The snow fell in a crazed manner, swirling all about in a spectacular display of Mother Nature’s beauty and strength. I thought about the wildlife that had to endure these frigid temperatures. They do it, and I am in awe.
I am a snowplower’s daughter. I grew up watching the weather channel the way some sports fans watch ESPN – with a mixture of interest, speculation, conviction, and hope. The first snowfall was cause for celebration. In my childhood home, background noise on wintry nights included the buzz of the radio system that my father used to communicate with his men who were in their trucks, plowing their assigned lots mixed with the ringing of the telephone, signaling another snow removal job in need to their attention. We did not take vacations in the winter season for fear of missing a snow storm. We all worked during the storms. My mother answered the telephone calls. My brother and I shoveled sidewalks. Occasionally, I would ride alongside my father in his big, red diesel truck at 3 in the morning while he sanded and salted local businesses’ parking lots. There was a time during my youth, when I was ashamed to tell my peers that my father plowed snow. I did not understand then, as I do now, that a hard day’s (or night’s) work is admirable, no matter what type of work, especially when you are providing for your family. Snow removal paid for my braces and my college, among other things.
While shoveling my way through my childhood, I learned a few “hows” about the snow. How the big flakes fall lightly, and how easy it is to lift that snow with a hand shovel. How to loathe the wet, slushy snow that soaked your mittens through to your skin after one shoveling. How a sand and salt mixture is the best type to cover your driveway with in order to both melt the snow and to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. It is best to shovel every few inches, if you can, rather than letting it all fall, and then removing it. Lift with the knees, save the back. How quiet the snow falls upon the earth, especially in the middle of the night.
This morning, we were greeted by a still landscape blanketed with the snow. It covered the windows of our home,
blocked our doorways,
and camouflaged our neighbors’ automobiles.
It was awesome, the amount of snowfall – measured in FEET, not inches.
As soon as we could shovel a path outside of our back door, we stepped out into the snowy winterland and explored it together.
While Aidan could play in the snow for a very long time, Sam is overwhelmed by it. So, I scooped him up into my arms, and then, I snapped these last few pictures of Aidan before we went back inside of our warm home for some hot cocoa.
Such sweet winter childhood memories in the making.