Monday, November 17, 2008

~First Snowfall~

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!


® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful!
I read your text Carol and you took me back to my own childhood too, full of fun in the snow, cold winter's and moon-boots!
Beautiful writing, truly beautiful! and you also made me realise, after not seeing snow for almost ten years, how much I really miss it!
Hugs! x

Sandi McBride said...

Oh ME TOO! My cousin and I still call each other, no matter how early or late to glow in the warmth of the snow!!! It's the memories! Loved this post and loved the photos...send me some snow?

Suldog said...

Lovely bit of nostalgic writing. I enjoyed this a lot. Of course, I have the same bent, myself, writing of things past. Anyway, just lovely.

OLLIE MCKAY ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Fabulous winter wonderland pics! I totally remember coming in from sledding and having maMA waiting with the hot chocolate and big marshmallows!! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Carol, Once again you've gotten me all teary eyed. I can just imagine the three of you sleding down the hill. Dan would get so excited at the first sign of snow. He thought it was the best time of year must have learned from his big sis. Me on the other hand always loves it best from my living room window. It looks so beautiful in your neck of the woods.
Love, Kay

BeadedTail said...

Beautiful photos and lovely memories! I grew up in the midwest so can relate to snow days like you describe.

Maggie May said...

Your recollections of childhood reminded me of so many things too.
I'm not mad about snow, but I do love the look of it on photos and pictures.
Brilliant snapshot.

RiverPoet said...

What a beautiful post. I love snow, too, particularly because I didn't see much of it growing up in Houston, TX, certainly not of the quantity we get in MD. We're due to get snow showers tomorrow. Your post has me looking forward to it.

Peace - D

Paper Girl Productions said...

What gorgeous photos! I'm from Canada so it snowed in October already.

Hilary said...

It sounds like you were peeking into my childhood. I'm not a big fan of winter, but admit that the first snowfall, or any large snowfall is magic. You've captured it perfectly with your words and photos. Thanks for that.

blackfeatherfarm said...

Lovely.... I think everyone one else pretty much summed it up !

womaninawindow said...

So timely that I read your post today instead of Monday. We are in the middle of our first snowfall and I've been clapping all day. I love it! And my children came home from daycare, I dropped my car keys and we went out to meet the first snow of this season.

Amy said...

I want to eat at the Silver Grille too. It sounded fun. I agree with you on the love of the snow. I also love the stuff you wrote about crayons and paints and all the other smells. I am very in tune to smells and the memories they hold. A super fun post. Thanks for the wonderful story.

Ellen said...

You must have been sitting next to me on the "rapid transit" going to the Silver Grille. Every year my mother would take my sisters and I downtown on the rapid. It was such a big day. My father worked downtown so we would meet him for lunch at the Silver Grille. We still talk about the little cardboard stove every year. Thanks for sharing in this memory.

Anonymous said...

gorgeous! three cheers for snow. So exciting!