Monday, February 11, 2013


What a weekend of fresh snow and blowing drifts!  My home neighborhood in western Massachusetts was transformed from bare ground to white wonderland. Two feet of fluffy snow landed here, and soon drifted into odd shapes. Children on our street dug tunnels and caves, reminding me of when my sister and I had done the same in Danvers back in the 1950's.  It was fun to crawl in and out of the snow "houses" we created.

Classmate Ken Beck wrote, "I remember that, as kids, the world did stop for big snow storms, but it did so of its own, because that was what made sense, not because you were ordered to shut your life down."  He commented Friday that the T service was cancelled as of 3:30 pm and no automobile travel allowed on highways, with fines threatened for non-conformance. "Continuous, everlasting coverage and updates on TV.  ... Where is the wonder of it all?" he continued. "I love snow. The transformative quiet, beauty and wonder it brings to our lives; the realization that it is not all about us, that there are other forces in the world that take us up and toss us about and leave us with that experience of simply being human."

I agree, and try to enjoy snowy days as they come. I do not turn on the TV or fret about weather reports. Instead, I talk with the neighbor's children, and admire what they build or dig in the snow.

Yesterday I even managed to crawl through one of their tunnels!   See the one at right, in center of sidewalk! It was a tight fit, but I squirmed through, much to the delight of the kids watching me.

This month's column is also on a wintery topic: Snow, saucers, sleds, and "sissies"   -- a less happy experience in which I learned an important lesson. I originally wrote this story when our Senior Center writing group was invited to visit a 7th grade writing class in a local public school.  The students had been doing "memoir writing" on this topic: a mistake you've made and the lesson learned.  So we wrote on the same topic and then all read our writings to each other. It was a wonderful session of inter-generational sharing. And those 7th graders remembered my piece!  Sometimes they see me in the neighborhood and comment again about my sledding adventure.