The First Snow

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By Sherri Cook

The first snowfall of Winter is highly anticipated. The colors of Fall have softly faded, the air goes from chilly to downright freezing and dampness seems to soak into your very bones. All the houses smell of new heat as the furnace cranks up for the first time.

The weatherman’s promises of white fluffy stuff sends a rush to the grocery store to stock up on basics. Mothers with bundled children push their carts down the isles to obtain milk, bread, and eggs. They hurry home before the storm hits. The roads begin to glaze over with ice as the snow hits. Salt trucks offload salt to the roads to combat the ice. These are huge trucks loaded with salt begin to defend our paths driven by weather warriors. Small children are plastered to their windows watching the snow trucks with amber flashing lights, and a plow pushing mounds of white wet stuff to the sides of the road.

Everyone on the roads is warned to be careful, and they creep along like a deer on an icy pond. The snow creates a quiet stillness as mother nature wraps her creation in a pristine cloak of white. Tree branches are laden with snow and a crust of ice. As night falls, they seem to sparkle in the moonlight. During the stillness of the night, squirrels scamper across the snow leaving little footprints on the expanse of white.

Children wake with a sense of expectation, will they or won’t they have school. Mothers dread the snow day, but the children rejoice! The news channel is quite popular as the family is glued to the morning news. Then it comes, no school. The schools are closed due to weather. Children erupt in squeals of joy that drown out mothers groans. Suddenly, the house is in a flurry of activity.

Children wolf down breakfast, race to get beds made and chores complete, so they can get outside in the snow. Momma gathers mittens, gloves, hats, scarfs and puffy warm jackets. Footwear can be a challenge for those without snow boots, a plastic bread bag over a pair of thick socks keeps the feet dry.

Finally, all trussed up against the biting wind and nostrils freezing cold, children spill out of houses all across the town. Snowballs, sledding and snow angels are the assignments of the day. Igloos of packed snow are guarded by rotund snowman with or without a magic hat.

The glories of a snow day end with hot chocolate warming frosted hands. Piles of wet coats, hats, and gloves create a puddle on the floor.

Mothers sigh at the mess but children glory in the magic.