We're on day two of a winter blast here on the East Coast. Yesterday was the snow, today is the clean-up. My house is full of chaotic fun. Messy crumbles of breakfasts that turn to lunch and then dinner. Muddy mud-room living out its purpose. Husband trying to stay calm and not annoyed. I'm full of memories.
When I was little a snow day was a quiet thing. My mother would sleep late. Then we'd put on snow clothes and start the clean-up. It's not an easy thing without a partner, snow clean-up. She owned our two family house, so it was her responsibility to make sure the sidewalks were clear. As it was a corner lot, that was a whole bunch of snow removal. I liked helping, but how much help can a little thing be?
She'd smear our faces with Oil of Olay cream
"So the cold doesn't chap your face, baby..."
She'd lace up our snow boots and out we'd go. A second or so in I'd get restless.
"Can we go sledding now? Sledding now? Sledding now?"
I can remember her face. Beautiful and shining in the frosty air. Her frantic eyes betraying her patient voice.
"Not until I'm finished. Why don't you make the track?"
We lived on a hill, so she tried to put me off-- buy some time to finish her task while giving me an opportunity to walk up the hill and press the sled into the soft snow.
Eventually we'd go. We'd fly down that hill just the two of us. And she'd laugh all the way down. Her laughter was the sweetest sound. It still is.
And the best part? The best part was when we'd go inside and put our wet clothes on the radiators, the big, ornate ones that clanked all winter long. And she'd make something warm to eat. We'd snuggle in then, watch an old movie. The quiet was peaceful and the snow outside put us in a womb of sorts. Together, softly loving each other.
There's so much noise in my grown up life. I miss the quiet snow. I miss my mother.