…and the Memories They Bring
By Sandra Scott
COVID-19 has changed many things but I felt sad when my grandson heard all his classes would be online and said, “Does that mean there will be no snow days?”
Snow days conjure up some of my favorite memories.
Nothing made me hop out of bed faster than hearing my mother yell up the stairs. “School’s closed.”
I would rush to the window to see the wonderland that had been created while I was sleeping. I would huff on the window to melt the thin layer of ice and scratch away the icy frost, eager to see just how much snow had fallen while I was asleep. The trees were weighted down with a thick layer of snow, clumps dropping off at the slight stirring. There was a heavy quietness to the morning as the cold blanket of snow wrapped the world in warmth and security.
Determined not to miss a minute of the day, I would dress in my warmest clothes and drawn by the smell of bacon rush downstairs. My mind would be racing deciding on what to do first. The snow brought a wonderful assortment of fun things to do.
After gulping down my breakfast, I dressed for the occasion. Gone forever are the bulky wool snowsuits that collected miniature snowballs and the black metal-clasp boots. To keep my feet warm and dry in boots, I would wear socks over my shoes and then a plastic Wonder Bread bag.
A multicolored handmade hat, mittens and muffler completed my outfit. I needed help to put on the finishing touches. My mother knew just how to fix my mittens and cuffs of my snowsuit to keep the snow out.
Stepping outside — shaped like a Pillsbury doughboy — I was ready. The brightness of the sun made me squint and cold air hit my lungs like a sharp knife. Snow diamonds sparkled in the sun. The world had no sharp edges; the snow sculpted everything into gentle curves and swirls. Rooflines were softened by a layer of white fluff that curled down over the edges. Mother Nature had put her special frosting on the world.
When my eyes adjusted to the bright light I looked for the perfect spot to make angels; a mantel of unbroken snow, one that wouldn’t be in way of my other projects. Found it. I took step back, turned around and flopped down in the snow. I moved my arms to create the wings and then feet to make the robe. The next part was the hardest, getting up without making a deep sit spot in the middle of my angel. Finished, someone to watch me while I played.
Next I checked the garage roof to see if there was enough snow on one side so I could climb up and slide down the other side. The crimped edges of the tin roof made a perfect sliding spot. It was not an approved activity so I only did it a few times but it was hard to get away with it. Who else would have made the tracks on the roof?
Time to build a fort. I rolled huge snowballs to make the walls. Smaller one went on top. When I ran out of fresh snow I used my sled to transport the snowballs. The finished project kept me from the wind. When the noon whistle blew I was tired and hungry. The house seemed too warm. My snowsuit was hung in the cellar stairway not far from the big old coal furnace. I put my mittens on the hot air vent. I could smell the fresh baked bread. Lunch was ready: tomato soup, bread and butter, and hot chocolate.
After lunch, I got out the scissors, the summer Sears catalog, and an empty cardboard box and created my own dream home using flour and water paste to place the cutout furniture in the right place. I created my own paper dolls and clothes from pictures in the catalog ignoring the fact that they had no feet.
If I was lucky, when my father came home we could go sliding down the nearby hill and maybe after dinner make sugar on snow.
Snow days were a wonderful gift. Sadly the students who have online classes will not get to experience them — not this winter.