Sunday, December 6, 2009

The First Snowfall of the Season



This morning the grass was covered in white – the first snowfall of the season. Actually it started as a rain/snow mixture late yesterday afternoon, and accumulated only an inch or two on the non-paved areas. Not too bad – it eases us gradually into winter. You may have guessed that I am not a big fan of cold weather.
It may seem strange, but the first thing I think of when I see new-fallen snow is the Claude Thornhill recording of his theme, "Snowfall."Although I like his version, the Manhattan Transfer version is my favorite. I don’t know why, but for some reason, perhaps it’s the harmony, I tend to puddle up when I hear it. Somehow it brings back, not particular memories, but emotions of days long, long, lonnnggg ago.
After the emotions, the memories flood in: sledding on the hill northwest of the farm where I lived with my grandparents, followed by putting my cold feet up on the warm part of the old coal stove; my first and only venture onto skis; the Christmas eve in Manheim when someone threw a snowball at me and I ducked, allowing it to break one of the small windows in our front door. (I doubt if I could duck it like that today, but at least the window would be saved.) My father didn’t seem to approve of my agility on that occasion.
I think of Christmas’s on the farm: setting up the tree in a bucket of coal, stringing the lights (my grandmother always liked all blue ones), trying to find the bad light when the string went out, listening to Santa read my letter on the radio, and the big family dinners on Christmas day.
I remember when I was on KP at Fort Knox, and finding out in the middle of the afternoon that I had been on furlough since noon. I rushed home, arriving on Christmas eve. What a wonderful Christmas that was.
I remember assembling toys until 4:00 am when I had two small boys in the  house. It was a great relief when they no longer believed in Santa Claus.
These are a few of the things that come to mind when I see the first snowfall. If you live in a cold climate, what do you think of? If you don’t see snow in your area, what does it take to get you reminiscing?

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