Have you ever seen a snow tornado? We had a humongous ice storm up here Tuesday night and then the second wave hit yesterday. The winds were whipping the snow around and you could look out the windows and see three or four of these cool snow funnels blowing all at the same time. They whirl and spin and dance like crazy snow characters. Some of them are six or seven feet high and then there are dozens of little bitty ones that never get more than a few inches off the ground.
Today the guys are out sanding the roads. There is about an inch of ice under all the snow now and the salt mostly just exposes the ice. But the winds have quieted and now we have lovely fat flakes dropping straight down and our chicken house looks like a set piece in a perfect little snow globe.
Wintertime is beautiful here. There have been whole seasons of it when I worried and yearned for spring. But this time I was ready. I am happy to have a snowy January and December was like a made for TV holiday special. Now the last of the pine needles have been swept, and the ribbons and greenery have all been taken down. We packed away the ornaments in one fast afternoon and the house seemed quiet and a little sad. The end of the holidays always makes me a little mournful. It is a time of reflection and remembering before taking on the new resolutions and the secrets that the next year surely has in store.
I remember the year the tree fell down and Benjamin’s red glass sneaker ornament lost its bottom. I remember too the year we moved to Vermont and wondered if by Christmas we would feel at home. And what would it be like without friends and family when we sang carols and put up the tree? That was the year we found the Three Clock Inn where we still have dinner every Christmas Eve, and the sleigh ride, and our whole lives as we know them now were unfolding revealing themselves a little more each day. If I go way back I can remember the Christmas Eve with a baby boy when I cried and wondered how I would ever correct the mistake I’d made in marrying his dad. And there are all the ones in between with the wonderful Christmas Adventures, brunches at the Adam’s Mark, new ornaments from Botanicals, pictures on Santa’s knee, the sound of the bells, cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer, and then later when we were all older and hipper looking at the Macy’s windows in NYC after a big dinner in Soho.
Looking back and remembering the worries and the questions that have all been answered one way or another makes it possible to go forward with hope and expectation, no matter that we seem to have misplaced trillions of dollars. As I watched the snow tornadoes yesterday I thought about the whirl of our lives. We blow around and make big spectacles too, but then just like the snow we settle back down and have a few pretty fat lazy snowfalls. It is said that you have to love winter to live up here. This year I am loving it. I wouldn’t trade this fire and this view with these people for anything else. But pretty soon I know there will be another whirl and one or another of us will start spinning. Then we will pull on our good boots and follow the spinner and see where we wind up. It’s January. Everything is possible……