Sunday, October 30, 2011


It felt odd but exhilarating to see the snow coming down last night, in the midst of Emma’s Halloween party. It was forecasted that we’d receive 5-10 inches in this first storm of the season. By midnight the snow covered our still leafy burning bush shrubs, weighing them down and creating canopies for our puppy to hide under. A little apprehensive of the snow, experiencing it for the very first time, Ziva chose to walk along the edge of the house when her paws touched the wet snow. But before long, she had plunged in and enjoyed racing around the yard, burying her face and eating the snow. It was a joy to watch her.

Some of the teens at the party ran outside when the snow began piling up. Sitting inside at the time, we heard them running out back, laughing and screaming as they pummeled one another with snowballs. The snow was wet and heavy, perfect for snowball-making. I snuck outside several times during the evening, happy to see and feel the snow once again, even if it was a good month earlier than expected.

Unless I have to drive in the stuff, or unless it causes a long power outage, I love snow. I love winter. While so many speak of moving south to get away from weather they consider a nuisance, I find a good snowstorm to be beautiful and peaceful. I know it’s easy for me to say this, for being a teacher, a good snowstorm will often give me a day off when school is closed for the day, and I do well appreciate how difficult it can be for many, especially the elderly, to deal with in terms of shoveling or preventing accidents. But in those few hours when the snow falls from the sky and the world is quiet, I feel an inner peace that I rarely find anywhere else.

As I enjoyed the snow of last evening, I thought of all the ways I enjoy the outside each season. Cross-country skiing is one of my favorite winter activities. I never took a liking to the speed of downhill skiing. I’m too fearful. I get wimpy about going tobogganing or sliding now that I have lost that childhood flexibility. I’m always afraid I’ll break my leg. I have enjoyed the few times I’ve gone snowmobiling, but I don’t own a sled. I used to enjoy ice skating but I haven’t been lately. Maybe this year. And no, I won’t be going ice fishing. Of course my all-time favorite wintertime activity is snowshoeing. I am looking forward to taking Ziva out to the abandoned cabin where Charlie and I used to go each winter. It’s going to be bittersweet to hike out with a new furry friend.

And after returning from a jaunt out in the woods, I’ll be sitting next to a warm fire, enjoying hot cocoa under a fleece blanket with a good book, with a batch of homemade soup simmering on the stove. Oh sure, five full months of winter may seem to be too long for many, and I admit, I love the warmth of summer and the vibrancy of autumn, but hey, I live in Maine so as to enjoy all four seasons. I have enjoyed this first snowstorm of the season and I am ready for more.

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