Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The sound of silence…

If I can stay home and not have to be out in it then I absolutely love snow.

Snow fall is silent…once it falls it muffles the entire world around me. Even the birds cease their chatter when the snow is falling.

The only noise I’ve heard all day is the sound of the snow plow rumbling by and the sound of shovels sliding across driveways.

This snow fall is not very wet…making for easier shoveling. When we lived in Utah where they have the greatest snow on earth- seriously...our license plates said so- the snow was dry and called powder. The snow fall today here in Missouri is just that kind of snow. Powder is excellent for skiing and snowboarding making for soft landings in the event of mishaps.

As I watched the snow falling this morning I remembered the books I read as a girl written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I remember going to the library and checking out those books one at a time until I read the whole set. I loved her descriptions of life in simpler times but today I am thankful for central heat instead of wood burning stoves or fireplaces that are cozy only as long as you are within the circle of their warmth. I shared my love for those books with my daughter and bought her the set when she was a little girl.

 Snow brings memories of snowmen and forts we built as children in North Dakota. When the wind chill was not too excessive that we could be outside to play where the snow was abundant for snow play. I remember my older brother and the neighborhood boys tunneling through the huge piles of snow standing beside driveways…off limits to girls of course. There were some serious snow ball fights waged from those fortresses. I knew better than to attempt to go up against my brother and his pitching arm, his fastballs were killer and he didn’t play around but aimed for the head of his victims. Being the target of a well shaped cold snowball to the face seemed to put a damper on my desire to play. Even though I didn’t like the “No girls allowed” slogan I respected it out of a sense of self preservation. Mom would make snow cream when we went in the house to warm up, almost as good as homemade ice cream in my memories.

Memories are of my own children playing in the snow bring a smile to my face as I visit the past through photographs. I would bundle them up in their winter attire, smear Vaseline on their cheeks and receive just as much joy from their excitement as I had as a child. I can’t count the number of snowmen they built over the years.

One of my favorite pictures is of our daughter- in kindergarten at the time- sitting in the yard where the snow was so deep you couldn’t see much of her except her head. That was the winter my husband was in Iceland and it seemed to snow every other day. The pile of snow at the end of our driveway rivaled the snow forts I remembered in North Dakota…and I shoveled every inch of it.

Today the drive way needed to be shoveled and the wind was picking up so the wind chill was dropping. I put on the long underwear and thick gloves and socks and went out to help my husband shovel. The best part about going out and shoveling was that we got to come in and drink hot chocolate together.

I wonder if those Little House books are hiding in the basement. If my daughter doesn’t have them I may have to go try to find them.  It's the perfect kind of evening to snuggle down on the couch under a throw and read a good book while drinking my hot chocolate.


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