I hunkered down under the flannel sheets that sparked electricity when I rubbed my legs together. The wind howled against the plastic storm windows and I prayed for a blizzard.
They called it the blizzard of 1978. It started snowing one winter night and dumped 52 inches on the ground before it stopped.
My clock radio interrupted my dreams as the announcer called out over the airwaves the name of my school next to the word “CLOSED”– for 5 days in a row!
I squealed excitedly each morning, then flipped the covers over my head like a bear in hibernation, until I got hungry. After a large bowl of Cheerios, I donned my snow gear to head out for another day of adventure with the neighborhood crowd. We’d play king of the mountain on the snow hills the plows formed at the street corners, then wage war against those pesky boys who threw hard and cheated with ice balls. I owned a pair of skates and the city flooded the basketball court at the park. When my fingers and toes got stiff and frozen, I’d trudge home, change back into my nightgown and stand on the floor heat register where the hot air blew up my gown making me look pregnant and I giggled at the thought.
That was the best winter ever!
Then I grew up and my name became “Mama” and I spent my blustery winter days shoveling the driveway while my biggest little girls in snowsuits frolicked delightedly making snow angels and catching flakes on their tongues.
Until we moved South. Then we’d pull out Keat’s story about Peter’s Snowy Day with the sun pouring in through our open windows in February and use our imaginations to feel the snow stinging our cheeks and sticking to our hair. The big girls retrieved memories but my littlest “littles” had none to imagine from.
“Stick out your tongue,” I’d suggest.
“Look for it.”
“You see it?”
“Catch it on your tongue.”
“Mmmm….Tasty.” I modeled, my tongue extended while rubbing my tummy.
Fast forward thirteen years and a few tiny snowmen later and here we are back in winter “heaven”. Our southern born baby now schedules her play dates with her best buds that live exactly 6 minutes and 3 traffic lights away from our front door. As the snow’s gigantic flakes dance in the biting wind, they suit up and head out into the elements. First they decorate the yard with perfect snow angels then they construct forts and build snowmen. They sled down the little hill out back on the plastic saucer I bought at a yard sale last summer and sometimes even shovel the driveway. Hours pass and I call them in as the gray sky turns black. Their cheeks are pink. The dryer rattles with buckles from soaking wet, cold outerwear and they settle at the kitchen table in their fuzzy socks for a steamy mug of hot chocolate topped off with a generous dollop of Reddi-whip.
And like Peter, we just keep writing our own perfect Snowy Day stories.
I wonder, what are yours?