Last night, the storm clouds set with the sun. Before I went to bed I could see Orion’s belt. I had a day packed with plans: hit the co-op, make this soup, run this trial and ride this handsome horse.
I woke with sleepy eyes and rubbed them once, twice, again as I looked out the window. Soft heaps of white snow capped every surface. I’m not just talking about a dusting of snow; I’m talking about quarter-sized flakes falling from the sky so quickly I could not believe my eyes. My neighbor’s roof had almost a half-foot accumulation. Out my front door the world glistened white.
I knew my CA plates and driving skills would not suffice in this weather. Besides, I wanted to be out IN it. I pulled on my beanie and snow boots, grabbed my canvas bags and headed out. Snow gathered like cotton on bare trees.
I watched as cars skidded and slid down our huge hill. I watched snow plows push, busses chain up and people step outside in wonderment. Funny how crisp white looks when you’re used to gray. Cashiers at the co-op said they’d never seen this much snow in the lowlands.
I figured out, first-hand, the cliche: Up hill, in the snow. Make that, up hill, in the snow, with groceries.
The snow was soft and light, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to make snowballs and toss them at passing cars. (Don’t worry, I didn’t heave them at little old ladies in Buicks.) It packed so perfectly I had to make a snowman. I raced inside, hardly putting away my groceries. Snagged a soggy carrot leftover from last night’s broth-making. In earnest, I scooped the snow from behind my car. Two birds, one stone, right? Clear the driveway and have some fun? My snow
man woman took shape.
She was a bit petite for my liking. I found an old plastic tub and scoured snow from the entire alley. I darted here and there, packing the fresh power into nooks and crannies, giggling like a kid. In fact, I hadn’t noticed anyone else making a snowman or playing in the snow. I was the only one–the only loony, solo, 31 year-old out in the snow making a friend. And I was having a delightful time.
I squished in my snow woman’s nose and ran back inside to source eyes: who needs coal with you can have shallots? A hat, my newly knitted scarf…voila!
My pants were soaked and my fingers mostly frozen, but I didn’t care. I haven’t made a snow person in, oh, I don’t know, twenty-five years? And somehow, between walking to the store and collecting snow to construct my new neighbor, I had the best few hours I’ve spent in Mount Vernon.
Something tells me it’s gonna be a pretty good year.