Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved snow. I loved to make snow men and snow women. I loved sledding, until the day I slammed head first into a stone wall and had to have stitches. When I learned to cross country ski, I was in Heaven, gliding over the rolling terrain at Ski for Light, but I never learned to love skiing downhill. I loved ice skating, both on a smooth-as-glass rink and on a wrinkly pond. I loved making snowballs to throw for my dog, only to have them crumble in her mouth. I loved walking in frozen air, when snowflakes were just beginning to appear. All you have to do is take your dog out early in the morning before dawn, and you witness the beauty of a winter’s gift. There is nothing so beautiful as walking on freshly fallen snow, when your steps are silent, and your whole neighborhood has been blanketed with the tranquility that creates the feeling of family.
The other day, someone remarked on how beautiful the snow was and that it was too bad that I couldn’t enjoy it. What was she talking about? There are so many more ways of enjoying snow than looking at it. Snow is God’s way of giving us something in winter to be happy about.
That last paragraph came from the memories I have stored up to cheer me in this grey and gloomy time. The truth is that it seems to me that a pandemic is enough without adding a huge snow and ice storm to lock me inside. Today, taking my dog out early in the morning is not a joy to celebrate the beautiful snow but a challenge to keep from falling on my face as I negotiate the clumps of ice to her favorite spot to empty. In fact, she doesn’t get to go to her favorite spot, because I’m not about to trudge through 8 inches of snow and ice to the end of the yard. I took my daughter’s advice and commanded that “right here,” a few feet from the back patio is just fine. And amazingly enough, she complies. I usually have someone shovel a patch of snow, so she can have a place where she doesn’t have to dip her bottom into the snow, but it came too fast this year.
I’m itching to get out and walk, but unfortunately, not everybody shovels the sidewalk in front of their houses, like my next door neighbor does. He even shovels mine. I call him my snow angel, because as soon as the snow stops, I hear him out there shoveling my driveway and sidewalks. Every older person should be so lucky. I used to enjoy shoveling my own snow until my back issues put a stop to it. It’s going up to 24 today. Maybe I should get out there and try to make a snowman for old time’s sake. But a better idea is to take a walk with my friend Dan, so that’s just what I did, and it was wonderful.
The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir
Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life
Available at www.dldbooks.com/maryhiland