We had our first snow squall yesterday. Well, it really was only about ten minutes of swirling snowy bits. That’s New England for you; you never really know what you’re going to get weather-wise. You can read the Farmers’ Almanac cover to cover, and still you won’t know exactly what kind of weather we’ll have through the winter.
But this was actually a pleasure. It made me think of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and how, as a child, that first snowfall always thrilled me. It meant building snowmen, snowball fights, making a snow fort and, at the end of the day, coming inside the warm house. Of course snowpants, parkas, boots and mittens dripped slush on the rug, and all outer wear had to be lugged into the porch to dry out.
Of course, when we grow up and have to drive to work on a snowy/slushy day, that’s no fun at all. However, this time of year, whether or not we have snow of any kind, it makes me look forward to the holidays. I remember all of them back when I was growing up. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mom and Dad and I would drive up to Mirror Lake to my grandparents’ house. My grandmother, whom we all called “Ba,” would have made the most sumptuous holiday meals you could imagine.
For Thanksgiving, there was a succulent turkey filled with delicious stuffing, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, buttered carrots, baby onions, also swimming in butter; mashed butternut squash, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, pickles and my mother’s fabulous homemade Parker House rolls. Dessert was always something fabulous; pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and ice cream.
After the meal, while the grown-ups chatted over coffee and cigarettes, I would go into the parlor (Ba’s name for the living room). There I could think of the next holiday, Christmas; which was even more wonderful than Thanksgiving.
That’s what the first snow fall reminds me of; all those lovely Thanksgivings and Christmases when the world seemed full of magic and all my people were together. Back then I didn’t have a care in the world; all I had to worry about was doing well in school. I think that we don’t always appreciate our time as children; all that love and attention, all the hard stuff was managed by parents and grandparents—back then it was great to be a child.
This is what that first snow reminds me of; times gone by and times to come. Although my family have all gone to that sweet bye and bye, I think of them always and rejoice that I had all that time with them. These days we are the grandparents, and oh—what fun it is! Last Thanksgiving, as we all gathered around the table in Maine with my step-daughter and her husband, and Ava and Juliette, my hope is that our girls remember all the good times and holidays. May this first snow bring laughter, love, hope and joy always.