The first snowfall has officially come and gone, ushering in Winter 2012. Depending on which side of the millenium you were born, you may have met it with disdain or ecstacy. If you were like me, who experienced more than half of the previous century, you gave it mixed reviews. If you were one of 30-some thousand area students, it was a preview of Winter break, with flannel boxers or sweat gear the day’s fashion wear.
Wednesday afternoon found me rummaging through the depths of our basement in search of snow shovels, a quest not unlike exploring the underside of our vehicles’ seats spelunking for ice scrapers. I’ve made a pretty consistent practice of not seeking any of the above until they’re significantly past being needed. Sort of like those late night, last-minute collegiate papers……….I digress. This time, however, the forboding fright-cast of local meterologists prompted earlier preparation. The basement findings included a couple of sleds, resting in retirement from our now-adult children’s days of spills and chills on inclines such as Holmes Lake Dam or Riley Elementary School. Good times those were, with soothing mugs of hot chocolate and mini-marshmallows thawing out fingers and toes at the completion of the icy escapades.
The outlook on the snowfall is a classic tale of observation. Most remember Ralphie and his little brother, waiting hopefully for snow and the excrutiatingly slow arrival of Christmas. Would there be a Red Ryder B-B gun? And who doesn’t remember the challenges of snowpants, boots, mittens and stocking caps? Those items always seemed to prompt the urgency of bathroom treks, but NOT until you were fully mummified in the winter outerwear.
The coming of the first snow on winter’s eve was a good thing, I’ve decided. Helped me re-trace some days not unfamiliar to our classic friend Ralphie. It helped me appreciate a couple of good mugs of hot chocolate and the sounds of neighborhood school escapees frolicking in the winter froth. It was a good day to listen to holiday music. It was a good day to find a little escape from some crushing headlines, although my mind keeps repondering those awful events in Connecticut.
Here’s to the first snowfall and its welcomed moisture….and to hot chocolate…..and children gleefully escaping school for a day…..and holiday music…..and friends like you.
All the best of the seasons to you and those you hold most dear. This year, may we all hold those a little more tightly.