Monday, November 17, 2008
The first snowfall of the year. I revel in it. Looking out the back windows each winter morning here in the Snowbelt, I become a little girl again. It's like unwrapping a new present each day. It brings back memories of a long-ago childhood.
It brings back leggings and snowsuits, red rubber boots, those itchy argyle woolen mittens...and those hats. The ones with the flaps that covered your ears. The ones with the silly pom-poms on top. I remember my dad taking us sled riding. The titillating fear-and-excitement of speeding down the snow-covered hill and rolling off the sled at the bottom. The gleeful laughing of my siblings as we trudged back up the hill dragging our wooden sleds so it could happen all over again.
I remember the hot chocolate that mom had waiting for us, afterwards, with the huge marshmellow melting into a sweet, sugary ooze. And that first sip. It meant home. Warmth. Love.
I remember 'Snow Days'.... those treasured days-off-from-school with nothing to do but play in the snow til you couldn't feel your nose, and coming back in to the aroma of Campbell's Tomato soup with little oyster crackers floating around the surface til they were soft and mushy. 'Hmmmm hmmm good' just like the commercial said. I remember coloring books and the smell of the waxy crayons.The scent of the little pots of oil paints in my paint-by-number sets with their pictures with a zillion little numbered pieces. My mom in her apron, peeling carrots at the sink as she stood in our kitschy chartreuse kitchen. One smell of her Beef Stew let you know what it was like to be cozy. Safe. Loved.
I remember footed pajamas that zipped up the front. Downy quilts. Waking up to the aroma of hot coffee 'perculating' on the stove. And hot, old-fashioned Quaker Oatmeal. No 'instant' back then. The REAL thing.
It brings back the anticipation of Christmas. Of counting the days. The threats of "You'd better behave or Santa's going not going to bring you anything but coal, Carol Ann!". It brings back riding the 'rapid transit' downtown to the Higbee's department store to wait in long lines to see the 'real' Santa Claus. I wore a lipstick red wool coat trimmed with black velvet. It had a matching hat. My mother bought it for me with the money she made doing alterations. I loved that coat. I remember lunch afterwards at the Silver Grille, where they brought you a miniature cardboard stove with a small chicken pot pie inside. I can still taste it.
And it brings back the first time each of my boys saw snow. The magical twinkle in their eyes as I prayed they would feel that magic again a million more times in their lives.
And so, the snow that many people 'dread' with a passion that causes them to flee to warmer climates, isn't an emotion I can relate to. Ever. I love every moment of it. It's part of me. My childhood. Who I am. It's home. Comfort. Love.
I wish you happy comforting thoughts of love. And home. Happy Monday!