Snow Days

I stared recently out my basement window at the mixture of ice and snow in our backyard, sloping down into the frosty woods. On this same land as a boy, I remember snow days, where we got the exciting news from our mom that school was cancelled. Snow days brings back memories of hot cocoa inside, and multiple adventures outside. We did not have snow boots growing up. What we had was bread bags over our socks with a rubber band to hold them up, with our sneakers over the bags.

I remember with my brothers on a rickety wooden sled speeding down our hillside, with cows curiously observing. I remember hitting the base of a cut sapling once, the sled suddenly stopped, and I kept going, rolling down the hill.

The ditch of our road was an excellent place to build protective walls for snowball wars. Sooner or later an older brother would charge our fort and blast through it.

Snow football meant tackling was legal, with many faceplants directly into a snow drift. It meant wrestling with one of our beagles or helping break the ice on the pond for the cattle.

I enjoyed solo hikes into the snow-filled woods around our house and neighbors, pretending I was lost in the wilderness, exploring deeper into the woods each trip.

Snow days many times meant warm meals of chili, brown beans with cornbread, or beef stew. It meant gathering at the foot of our propane stove with our cold bare feet trying to regain feeling after what seemed like hours out on one of our adventures. It meant falling asleep on the couch or living room floor watching daytime gameshows, like Match Game or Password.

Snow Days growing up meant a break from school, time with my family, and time by myself on one of my journeys in the woods. I remember being mesmerized by the beauty of God’s creation seeing the shimmering light from the sun filtering gently through wooded branches to the pristine snow drifts down our steep hollers. Traveling deeper into the valley’s away from our property to those of neighbor’s properties, I would quietly listen to water running down streams made fresh from the snow melt. I would follow those streams, mesmerized by the sound of the flowing water and the beauty of the winter landscape.

Years later, memories of snow days involved not myself, but my sons. The picture is of my wife and boys on a snow day behind our home. I can still hear their laugher and yelling, watching my boys sled down our steep backyard into the edge of the woods, the woods I explored on many of my own snow days.

Snow days elicit memories of freedom, of joy-filled delight, of exploring the beauty of God’s creation in these Ozark hills. Today, the snow has melted, and the winter grass returns, as does another work week ahead. But the memories remain and fill me with peace.

1 comment

Judy Pope

I always love reading your stories. As a kid, I loved snow days. All the neighborhood kids would get together and walk up to B & L Gift Shop. After warming up we would go back home. One particular day the snow was about 6 foot with snowdrifts very deep. That was a blast!!!😁

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