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Friday, January 30, 2015

Snow Days

There's a blizzard coming at us,
Reports of gloom and doom,
It's going to get deeper
As the storm doth bloom.
We're going to need a shovel, 
The snow blower will vroom
It makes me want to hide away
Safely in my room.

Yet somewhere deep inside of me
Lives a happy child
Who rejoices in the falling snow
And is by the sight beguiled.

(Thanks to my friend Jen Nelson for putting my poem on her beautiful photograph.)

My area is currently in the middle of a very active snowy weather pattern where we are having snow fall every couple of days.  Some days like today are simply a nuisance, one or two inches to scrape off the deck and driveway and brush off the cars.  Some are a downright pain in the behind requiring multiple goings over with the shovel and the use of the snow blower and cancellation of schools,work and Hillary's daycare. I grew up in what was at the time a fairly small town and we didn't have too many snow days off from school.  When we did, though, I remember it being tons of fun!

When I was very young, perhaps 9 years old, snowy days were filled with listening to records with songs like "I've Been Working On The Railroad" on them and using all the kitchen chairs to make a train out of as we sang along.  My brothers and I used to play "animals" where my oldest brother was the "keeper" and he fed my other two brothers and I bowls of cereal as we crawled around making animal sounds such as "woof!" and "grrrr!" I chuckle as I think about it now but it probably gave our mother a chance to breathe.  Sometimes we went downstairs into the unfinished basement where we played "war" and hid behind stacks of boxes or support beams and popped out yelling "bang!bang! you're dead!" as we pointed our fingers at each other.  We made popcorn and sometimes Mom baked cookies or brownies.  When I was a bit older I remember going outside to slide down the hill at the back of our property on sleds or saucers until the neighbor behind us yelled at us to get off her property (which was hotly disputed by my mother!).  We then moved to the road because in the late '60's and early '70's there weren't too many cars around during the day since most families had only one car and the dads used them to get to work.  When we heard a plow or a car coming we'd stand on the side of the road until they passed and then resume our play.  I recall one time sliding into the storm drain where I managed to cling the edge in danger of falling all the way in, screaming and crying, until my father came outside (I'm sure one of my brothers went inside and got him) and rescued me minus a boot.  He took me inside and returned to the cold stormy outdoors to fish my boot out of the storm drain.  Not a dull moment with four kids running around!  After our sledding and snowman making adventures were over Mom made us all hot chocolate and let us get bowls of pure white fluffy snow which we were allowed to decorate with food dyes and sugar then ate quickly before it could melt.  Such good times I remember on snowy days!

Now I don't enjoy snowy days as much.  I worry about my loved ones driving to and from work on the dangerous roads, and dread the back ache inducing work of clearing the slick stuff away while wishing for spring to arrive early.  Once everyone is home safe and sound, however, it is an enchanting sight out the window to see the mantle of white covering the landscape; and the little child in me smiles.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kindred Spirits

This is a picture of the lake in my town. I can see it from my kitchen window when the trees are bare. I wrote the poem and posted it as my Facebook status. My friend Jen is quite a good photographer and lives within a short walk of the lake where she uses her camera to document its many moods. She read my poem and asked if I minded her putting it with one of her winter lake shots. I readily agreed; I very much admire her ability to capture the ever changing look of the lake and sky so I was honored that she wanted to add my words to one of her photographs.

I first met Jen when we joined the church over twenty two years ago.  She was a Sunday School teacher and one of the first people to welcome us into the church family. My girls were very young, her children were grown and as the years went by we lost touch as our lives went in different directions.  occasionally we'd greet each other in passing around town. A few years ago she called to ask permission to post pictures she took of my husband in a parade with his bagpipe band. We chatted for a while and then became Facebook friends. I think we share a mutual admiration of each other, a general optimistic outlook on life and a love of words.

We meet people throughout our lives; some we never see again, and some we connect with from time to time; flowing in and out of each others lives. I believe when kindred spirits meet they can reconnect at any time with no awkward feeling.  It's nice how that happens.