Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Winter's Tale

I know it doesn't look like winter in this picture--but, oh well.  What happened here happened in winter, on the eve of a snow day.  I guess I'm thinking of snow days because we have recently had a holiday that was a scheduled school "make up day" for any unexpected snow vacations that did not happen.  We're due for another one in a couple of weeks (unless it really does snow, which is highly unlikely).

Anyway, once upon a time it did snow here.  When that happens everyone goes a little crazy.  In advance of a possible storm, the news people are all standing outside giving up-to-the-minute live reports about minuscule or possible flurries and the effect on traffic,  people run out to buy provisions--jugs of water, bread and cheese, soup, grocery store firewood (which usually smokes more than it burns), and parents pick up their children early from school, just in case.

Well, one night it started snowing, real flakes coming down and actually sticking everywhere, and people began coming out of their houses even though it was ten or eleven o'clock and building snowmen and just generally standing around with their hands in their coat pockets smiling and exclaiming to each other in that quiet echoey air that comes with snowfall.  A friend came by our house and we laughed and marveled and talked about how there'd be no going to work tomorrow, and then after awhile we  walked with him back to his house so he wouldn't have to leave alone and we all wanted to be out in the snow really anyway.  We skipped and shouted and threw snowballs and got to his house and warmed up with a little nightcap before heading out again into the white night.

On our way back home, another young couple whom we had never before met and their dog were standing in front of their house and our little dog ran up to theirs and both dogs started to frisk and play.  The people lived in a little  house where the house in the picture now stands, so we were all there in the snow laughing at the dogs right where that concrete driveway is now.  Eventually these people asked us to come on in, which we did, and we sat on their couch and talked.  Their decor was "early married" style, a lot like ours, but their floor heater (which had a metal grate on it that got hot when the gas heat kicked on) was inconveniently located right in the middle of the room.  Our dog snooped around in their kitchen, lifted his leg, and peed on their trash!  It was awful and funny and no one cared because we were all in this strange heady snowland happiness.  I don't know whatever happened to those people, or even who they were because we never saw them again.  Maybe it's because we moved to Europe not long after.  Or maybe (which is what I really think) it was just a magical kind of night and people temporarily forgot their worries and troubles and duties and were free to be their best happy selves.

This funny carving is in front of the new house that stands there now.


  1. What a lovely evocative post - and yes people do seem to bond when something out of the ordinary happens. You have described this beautifully x Jane

  2. Ditto to Jane's comment ... and may I say that the phrase which fascinated me most (after "quiet echoey air") was "we moved to Europe not long after." Would love to hear some stories about that! :)

  3. What a great story. Snow makes people in the UK go a little crazy too - we don't get it often enough for it to become the norm, and everyone panic-buys bread and milk and the traffic grinds to a halt. And that muffled hush - I love that.