The temperature may dip down below 10 degrees F, Trav’s outside water may freeze solid every night, and longjohns, a wool sweater, and sheepskin slippers may be a constant part of my indoor wardrobe, but it isn’t really winter until it snows.
Some years the approach of Groundhog Day is a source of relief and great anticipation: winter might be coming to an early end! This year? Hunh. How do you anticipate the end of something that hasn’t happened yet?
Yesterday it finally happened. It snowed. It snowed all day. It snowed more than the dusting we were expecting. It snowed enough to shovel the deck and stairs. It snowed enough to don waterproof pants and calf-high boots. It snowed.
I ran out of both milk and chewing gum, which gave me an excuse to drive to the grocery store while it was still snowing. The visibility wasn’t great, State Road was half plowed, and of course the back way out wasn’t plowed at all because it never is. Malvina Forester made it handily there and back with nary a thought of a skid.
This morning Travvy and I struck out for our morning walk with about four inches of snow on the ground. Snow-walking reminds you of muscles you’d forgotten you had: it’s tough on the calves, like walking in loose sand. Every winter at least once I wish I had cross-country skis and the ability to use them. I also fantasize being towed across the snow by my four-paw-power housemate, even though I’d probably end up nose-to-bark with a tree when he took off after a rabbit.
Snow transforms familiar scenes into painterly landscapes. I was glad I’d tucked my little point-and-shoot into my vest pocket.
Given the extra effort of walking in snow, I thought to abridge our route by cutting through the Nat’s Farm subdivision, but no: walking through snow that no one has walked through before was too tempting, and the sky was moodily beautiful. We trudged on. Trav pounced on little critters moving in the grass and missed all of them. I gawked at the sky and took the occasional picture. Winter really is here.