Tonight, we had our predicted Rush Hour snowfall. It was not a lot of accumulation, but it did make the drive home an experience. As it turned out, both the Henley and Gay Street Bridges were closed by the time I got off work. I did figure out a way to go by way of James White Parkway and Bridge, then to Interstate 40 East and then get on 640 going West to Broadway. I will tell the truth, I was shaking in my boots all the way home, and I had on dress shoes for work. Figure that one out. I prayed to every angel I could think of and told people to go home and get off my road. I promised I would do the same … as soon as I got home.
Evenings such at this make me think back on all of the wonderful snowy evenings of the past. Some of them with family and friends and some alone. One of my favorite things to do on Snowy Winter evenings is to get out and walk. For me there are few things more beautiful than the delicate beauty of new snow. When I lived in Boones Creek I would often go out on nights like tonight and walk a mile or more to the other end of the valley. Over the years I had a couple of dogs who enjoyed it with me, and upon occasion, a cat or two. I truly miss that part of living out in the country in an area that I know everyone, and can feel comfortable walking about like that by myself. A few times I got one of my daughters to go with me, but most often it was by myself.
When I was in my teens, my other favorite part of cold snowy evenings was to light up the Franklin Fireplace in the basement and put on a large pot of from scratch Russian Tea. Then me, and a mug, and a book, would designate ourselves a location of the large comfy chair in front of the fireplace with my feet propped just far enough from the fire to stay toasty. Sometimes there would be something “homemade” going on in the kitchen, and that would complete the evening. I can remember listening to WQUT, and working on a puzzle. By this point my bedroom was in the basement, and I could look up at the little half windows and not be able to see out because the snow was over the windows.
In grade school, a snowy evening meant the excitement of waiting for the announcement that school was out for the next day. Then I would wheedle an invitation up to my Grandmother’s house for a day away from home. I would put on my boots and put my little suitcase on my sled. You could see my grandparents house from ours and so it was not a big deal to walk up there by myself. I am sure that my arrival was accompanied by a phone call back home to say that was okay, although I do not remember it now. I loved waking up in my Aunt’s Bedroom ( she was married and away from home and had children of her own.. but it was still her bedroom) It was all peachy-pink and white and it was the perfect frame for the snow glistening outside the window. When you crawled to the bottom of the bed and could see further out, there would be my grandparents foot tracks back and forth to the barn. Usually I woke when my grandmother was coming back from milking and I would be “encouraged” to get up. The woods on the hill would be all “fairy-like” and each limb outlined with crystal. When sun came up it would be so bright it would hurt you eyes, but you had to look. Often there would by foot long icicles hanging from the roof that were growing by the minute. Overnight the world had changed. It had been touched by the Snowflake Fairies and Jack Frost and was no longer the winter- dreary mundane world of yesterday. This was a new world of sparkly promise and it was special because it would not last in this wondrous pristine condition for long. It was so beautiful you almost hated to go out in it even to make snowmen, or snow angels, or forts. Almost.
Over the years there were “snow evening events” such as sledding, riding tractor tires or just walking to someone else’s house because no one was driving anywhere they did not have to. After the first snow, we could make snow creme. ( you can’t eat the first snow, because the air was dirty and the first snow cleaned it- ok, that is what they told us ) When I was young I can remember being out of school for most of the month of January one year, and there way time to plan all sorts of cold fun.
So for tonight I lift a “mug” in memory of the snowy nights of the past and hopes for more in the future. Cheers!