Yesterday the snow fell from the sky in drifts of large cereal flakes. This was the the third snowfall of the season, the first with any teeth to it. It began as heavy flurry meant to bury us, but in the end it was only a temper tantrum. After six inches of weeping and wailing it was all over. Predictions of a cold snap with the temperature falling to minus five degrees are met with skepticism. It might lock the snow in place for a while, but we’ve been lied to before. While the rest of the country has been buried in ice and snow storms, our fragile winter wonderland shows every sign of being another disappointing memory by next week.

I announced at lunch that I would shovel the driveway, and Dawn asked Samuel if he wanted to go outside in the snow while Papa shoveled. I heard him sing back “Yay!” followed by a percusive repetition of “Snow! Snow! Snow!” He bounced in the hall past my doorway, jumping with both feet together, his staccato breath punctuating “Snow!” each time his bare feet slapped the hardwood floor. But in the end I shoveled alone for an hour while light hailstones, no bigger than grains of sand, bounced on the driveway.

Then this morning, I found a thin crust of ice which would not easily yield to my broom or shovel. It’s the kind that requires a serious hacking effort with a steel or iron blade. Though it had rimed the walkways and driveway, I had not time for it. It was only a half inch deep and the surface was pitted enough to prevent slips, so I let it be.

The skies cleared and our cold snap came after all. The sun was in and out all day, keeping appointments elsewhere and then breezing by my office window long enough to blind me with the glare off the snow. My neighbor out my front window has a wood stove chimney which has been sending off a plume all morning, mostly of condensed steam.

Cabin fever sets in. Outside my office/bedroom, I heard Samuel and Rose racing up and down the hall, taunting each other.”You’ll never catch me!” spoken with a nyah-nyah sing-song that Rose has learned from pre-school, still totally devoid of malice. Samuel chased her to the end of the hall whereupon she squealed. Then he fled to the living room, turned about face, and yelled, “Kissy Monser!” (monster) and waited for Rose to come cover him with kisses.


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