February 7, 1978.
The one we still talk about today. The Blizzard of ’78. I wish I could remember exactly what I was doing that day or even that I remember it being “the big one”. I was 7. Every storm seemed big and snowbanks towered over my head. And snow days were magical. That moment when you realize you’re not just getting up and getting ready for school, but that your day WAS YOURS!! To play. To wander. Anything was possible! I would search for a couple plastic bread bags and shove my mis-match socked feet into them before tossing on my black Ames boots in an attempt to fend off frost-bite. Handmade mittens, hat, and scarf on over the top of my hand-me-down jacket to keep me warm and off I’d go into the snow. My day would be spent with my best friend, Paul wandering the neighborhood, sliding, snowball fights, and building intricate tunnels into snowbanks that were ten times bigger than the brown Gremlin my mother drove. We’d wander from the dam to the cove. Yes, we were seven, but it was 1978 and helicopter parents hadn’t been invented yet. We did what we wanted. We went out onto the river ice, onto roofs to slide off into the snowbanks below, across Route 2 to Carroll’s Grocery store for Hershey Bars, and running behind plows as they spewed sand onto the narrow roads of Riverside. Hours later we would return to Paul’s house, red-cheeked and soaking wet and we would sip hot cocoa in the kitchen while his mom (I SWEAR she was June Cleaver) baked cookies. As if being a kid wasn’t easy enough, snow days were even better! No reading assignments, no math problems, no room cleaning, not brushing my teeth kind of days. Magical………
February 9, 2017
I’m 46. I work for a grocery wholesaler. What do you do before a storm? Go to the grocery store and stock up, right? (BREAD AND MILK!!!!) So, guess where I was today. Yup, you got it…..work. It wasn’t snowing before I left home at 7 am and had a normal 45 minute commute. By the time I got to work it was snowing heavily. I did my thing and left at 11 am. I cleared my car of about eight inches of snow (all while using a very broken ice scraper because the day before it snapped while chipping an inch of ice off of my car). I hit the highway and thankfully traffic was light and it only takes me an hour and a half and ten white knuckles to get home. My road is barely plowed. My driveway isn’t plowed. My deck isn’t shoveled. I’m wearing pink sneakers because my dog has eaten every last pair of functional boots that I own. I trudge from the car to the house through ten inches of snow. I stoke the wood stove to get warm. I pet the boot-eating dog. I open up my laptop to make sure I haven’t missed anything important in regards to work in the last hour and a half (because most of my work is for Southeast facilities that have no concept of snow days). I find all is well so I nap. I wake up and work more. I look out the window at the foot of snow and figure I need to shovel. With boots on (the toe and heel of boot chewed by cute, lovable little monster dog), gloves and coat on I venture out into the 10 degree (but feels like -6 due to the blustery wind!) outdoors. As I start to shovel the deck and slip on the ice that sits sneakily underneath the foot of snow and do a half split. This sends shooting pain up my left leg and butt cheek. I continue shoveling and clean off deck, stairs, and walkway. I dig wheelbarrow out from under a foot of snow and venture down to the woodshed that sits a few hundred feet behind my house (through the snow) to get more wood to keep me warm as temperatures are anticipated to dip below zero tonight. I lug four armloads of wood into the house. My half snow day? Painful, cold, OUCH. Responsibility. Magical????
And then I pour myself a lovely glass of Toschi Pinot Noir and pop a couple ibuprofen to ease the throbbing in my left butt cheek and curl up on the couch next to my cute, little monster pup (that I adore even though he eats all of my shoes) next to the warm and cozy wood stove……. and I feel the magic. It’s not the same as what it was in 1978, although I would give anything for a day of kicking it in the old neighborhood with Paul again, being young and carefree and laughing because nothing else mattered, but that moment.
But I still feel the magic.
It’s winter (and I truly, absolutely HATE winter) so maybe the part of my brain that writes this blog has been abducted by snow-loving aliens, but it’s been a good week and I am truly believing that life is still magical. That there is still magic out there for us, waiting for us to remember that it exists.
It does exist. Somewhere, out there.
I want to believe…to remember… that it exists.
Do you remember what that magic feels like?
Do you want it again?
I do ❤