Waiting for Snow

I miss snow.

When the flakes fall in Ohio my family and friends make sure I see what they’re enjoying, or dealing with depending on how much accumulates. My sister Lynda sent this first photo. This past weekend my hometown was under a Level 3 snow alert. My sister Trudy sent a pic showing the first five inches that fell. 

I do remember what it was like shoveling heavy wet snow, and the moment the edge of the shovel hits a crack in the sidewalk, sending a shockwave through hands and up arms which are already cold and numb. So I’m not romanticizing the white stuff, but I still miss snow.

One of the stories my sisters and I have about our Mom is the time she made a snow angel for our elderly neighbor, Ethel. Hard to imagine, but Ethel had never seen, much less made a snow angel. So one night after visiting, Mom crossed the lawn toward home, flopped backwards in the snow, and made an angel for her. Mom would have been in her late 50’s at the time. Ethel not only loved the angel, but got a kick out of Mom’s sense of play.

Trudy has kept up the tradition of making an angel for Mom during the first good snow of the year. The last two winters she’s made two, one for Mom and now one for Dad. I look forward to her picture every year and can almost feel the cold on my back, arms and legs.

One of our strongest snow memories of Dad comes from when we were really little – him pulling us on a wooden sled through the old neighborhood on Summit St. Dad took a wooden liquor box from the state liquor store where our Grandpa worked, and screwed it to the back of the sled. We’d sit in the box, tucked in with blankets, and all dressed warm in snow suits, boots and mittens. Lynda remembers the snowflakes smacking her rosy little cheeks as Dad jogged a little making us go faster.

For me it’s sounds that accompany the memory. I remember Dad taking us sledding after he came home from work and we’d had supper. So it was well into twilight when we finally went out. As you know, there’s a hush to twilight snow. Riding on the sled, the only sounds that entered that quiet were the soft swoosh . . . swoosh . . . swoosh of the runners cutting through the powdery drifts where sidewalks were buried. I can hear the rubbery thud . . . thud . . . thud of Dad’s buckle boots as he plunged each foot, often blazing the first trail. Sometimes there was the initial crack, like the thin crusty top of crème brulee. If Dad didn’t buckle his boots all the way the hint of clinking metal sounded almost like the echo of sleigh bells.

I couldn’t find a picture of us on the sled, but perhaps this one was taken just before we headed out. Dad was probably off buckling up his boots. 

Now one of those boots sits on my porch and every time I walk by I think of snow and how much I miss it all.

What are some of your favorite winter memories?


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