(dedicated to my children, who are grown up now and away from home)
In the dim morning glow, I looked out my kitchen window. The world is smothered in snow. I wrap my robe tighter and remember other days like this.
I remember you, my children, how you lpeered out your bedroom window. The trees and rooftops are blanketed in white. A shout bounces down the stairs.
"It snowed last night! Maybe there's no school! "
Normally, you would squeeze out every little second of sleep before your mother called you, but today you scramble to the living room and flick on the news. Already, there is a stream of cancellations scrolling across the bottom of the screen. You curl up under an afghan and watch.
Oh great! It will be a long time to get through the alphabet.
You race to get a piece of toast and a cup of cocoa, only to resume your post on the couch.
YEA! NO SCHOOL!
There's so much you could do today! Why waste your time in the house?
You dress in your snowsuit and boots and paw through the winter box for your hat and scarf and the other green mitten. Grabbing your sled, you trudge through the knee-deep powder, each step crunching under your feet. An orange plow truck roars up the road. You wave at Uncle Rusty shoveling his steps.
Big flakes drift through the air and land on your sleeve. You peer at the wondrous designs, holding your breath so as to not melt them. The branches of the hemlock tree are weighted almost to the ground. You tug one, and it springs up, showering you with a glittery spray. The pond is only a depression in the clearing, except for the dark, open spot that rarely freezes solid.
Standing at the top of the hill, you yell with glee as you flop on the yellow tube. Icy crystals sting your cheeks as you whiz over the surface, turning and spinning until you settle to a stop. You slowly return up the long hill, plunging your legs in the soft drifts.
You build snowmen and snow angels and dig tunnels in the snow banks left by the plow. After your mittens are soaked and your toes numb, you come into the warm house and hang your wet clothing all around the stove. You start a game of Monopoly, while drinking cups of cocoa. Someone gathers a bowl full of the white fluff and drizzles it with cream and sugar.
It's winter; it's a snow day!
As I sat by my kitchen window yesterday, I watched the snowflakes piling up on the porch railing and woodpile and clothesline. I sipped my coffee and imagined all the kids in the area listening for their school to be cancelled. Even as a teacher, I used to feel the thrill of an unplanned vacation. I could bake some cookies, or read a book, or finish knitting a sweater. It felt good not having to go anywhere.
Yesterday, I put on my fuzzy slipper socks and wrote all day. It was good day to feel warm and secure and to let the imagination soar. What a wonderful feeling to be secluded from the world by a soft white blanket of snow.