All snowed in….

The absolute wonder of it all.. this fluffy white and intricately detailed snowflakes that are falling from a rather light grey sky. It’s a tad foreboding, and yet the grey is enveloping, and makes me want to create a blanket fort on the couch, and hunker down beneath layers of soft blankets.

It’s quiet, and pure feeling, like a fresh start. The streets are silent, and the snow plow trucks are yet to be seen. Any plans that I might have had to go and skate upon the Rideau Canal, have vaporized. Why drive? Ideas for the day morph and change, and a vast dumping of the white stuff, pretty well immobilizes me… but that’s ok.. why?

I smell bacon. Bacon just makes everything better, unless you are a vegetarian, then I would say… too bad, because bacon, and I can’t see myself giving that up anytime soon. Then there was the concept of candied bacon, utter brilliance for the taste buds. The tongue literally dances with excitement when this tantalizing morsel is first enjoyed.

Patchwork items intrigue me. My Grandmothers’ patchwork quilts, bits and pieces of colorful fabric strewn together, and taken from previous garments that were worn down, but not yet ready to be thrown out.

This quilt came from the cottage up in Hamer Bay, on Lake Joseph. It was upon my parents bed for years. At some point my Mother, or someone else decided that it needed laundering . Well as it turns out it was not color fast, and the red seeped into the other shades giving it an even more weather worn and loved appearance.

My friend Laura brought me the patchwork sketchbook on the old warn honey pine trunk from Spain a few years back . it is perfect . I keep treasures cards, bits of dried flowers, and precious mementos inside its bindings. It still feels intimidating to sketch or write in it . Its’ too pretty. Just keep beginning again I tell myself, perfection is not the object of this book, just let those creative juices flow. You might surprise yourself when expectation is given the heave hoe like a giant shovel of snow into the snow bank. No time like the present, to unwrap your present of creativity , and gift it to yourself, and yes, maybe even into the world that surrounds.

Cocooned within a warm house, cup of hot coffee at my elbow, anything is possible. I can hear the comforting whir of the furnace breathing in warm air. So much to be grateful for.. always .

January and February I am told can be difficult months because of the possible aftermath and letdown of Christmas, and the depression that can settle upon the spirit, and the mind. It feels impossible that underneath all of this whiteness, little bulbs are hidden, seeds are dormant, and bears are hibernating. The absolute wonder of it all . Spring sunshine and hot summer days seem forever away.

Speaking as someone who knows personally loved ones who suffer from depression and anxious thoughts, there is such need for compassion and a listening ear. I cannot make things better, but I can listen, and I do care . There are big mountains to climb, and it feels safer to stay within your four walls than to sneak your head out of your slumber igloo, and stick out your tongue, and let snowflakes melt upon it. The remembering of being a kid when snow and ice meant days off of school, board games on the living room floor, snow forts, ice hockey games, sledding, and tobogganing, all the good stuff.

Dogs jumping about in the fluffy stuff, yipping and carrying on their own euphoric snow dance. Red cheeks, then the taste of hot chocolate and macaroni and cheese, in the blue box with the glow in the dark, not of this world highly dyed pretend cheese sprinkles, that felt like confetti, and was eaten straight out of the pot.

The clothes dryer was going non stop because the soaking outer wear needed to be dried, and then put on straight away to give your body the extra warmth you needed to get back out there and play. Snow angels, snowmobiling, being towed behind a four wheeler while the beagles raced along behind, yelping and baying like delightful lunatics.

A lovely doggy came up the drive to greet me, as happy go lucky as can be. A welcome surprise, and a reminder that ” all creatures great and small”( thank you James Elliot for such a great book,) especially dogs out in the snow just make everything so much the better. Tongues out all pink and happy, bright eyes, with bits of snow stuck in their eyelashes, they frolic with complete joy. They are a great example . They are the joy seekers.”

It’s ok to drool. Who says these little Jalapeños should just get to be appetizers anyhow . We are breaking the culinary rules baby.. or at least bending them . After all, a bit of spice in the am warms a girl up so that she may commence with the shoveling of snow that’s needs attending to . these bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers all keep me warm, I feel certain.

The other day, a gentle rap came upon the front door, and as I opened up, a gust of ice cold Arctic feeling breeze took my breath away. There on the threshold stood a young man bundled up from head to toe, with a question upon his hidden by his scarf lips.

” Hello Ma’am, ( yes its official, I am a Ma’am now.)

” Would your like me to shovel your walk?”

” Why yes, that would be splendid,” I nodded with great vigor

“It ill be $15.00, is that ok?”

” that is just wonderful, and thank you.” I didn’t do the happy dance in front of him, as I thought it might frighten him away .

The young man was probably around 13-14 years old. Very respectable, and his name was Addison.

I came inside, thinking what an industrious young man, and entrepreneurial guy, somebody has raised him right.

Now to find enough money to pay him..Since I couldn’t get out to the banking machine, I had to scrounge for coinage in the bottom of my purse, in my car, and throughout the house.

He came to the door a while later, and I handed Addison a zip lock bag of money, and indicated that he should count it once he gets home. True story . I had counted it three times and come up with a different total each time .. oh dear ….

It’s a day for writing, and remembering, and Thanksgiving. Reflection of being a kid, and the joy that Winter offers, even amidst the challenges of lotsa snow. There is hope beneath the white blanket, and joy to be found in the day.

Go ahead.. build a fort, throw a snowball, create a snow Angel . Every snowflake is a unique and intricate creation. Impossible, but true.. just like humans . We all have something to offer, and love to give and receive. Let the snow fall…

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