“Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, Filling the sky and earth below, Over the housetops, over the street, Over the heads of the people you meet. Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along.”

The sun is shining, but the day still looks bleak. When I look out the window, I can see the dead leaves and stark empty branches of the trees which shaded the deck all summer. I don’t like winter, not because of the cold but because of the lack of color.

The other night I had eggs and toast for dinner. The eggs were scrambled with cheese, and the meal was delicious. Toast to me is comfort food. When we were sick, my mother would make us toast. She always served it cut in half on a small plate. The toast the other night made me think of her.

I have a new pattern going: a day out of the house then a day inside to recuperate. Yesterday I went to the movies and saw The King’s Speech. Last night my muscles screamed, and I woke up several times. Each time I did, I moved around to find where the pain seemed less so I could go back to sleep. Poor Gracie had no choice but to move with me. She and I went from one side of the bed to the other. I could slide around until I found a spot, but she’d have to get off, wait, then join me. She was kind enough to sleep in with me. Both of us slept until quite late.

When I was a kid, January always seemed a let down. Christmas was over, and we were back in school. No days off loomed unless we were lucky enough to get a snow day. I remember when snow started in the early evening, and I’d watch from the picture window in the living room hoping to see the sidewalks and streets disappear until a white blanket. Big thick wet flakes never gave much hope. They were usually teasers. The smaller flakes had the best potential. I’d watch a little TV then check back at the window hoping I’d see nothing but white. At bedtime, I’d hope that while I was sleeping the snow would pile as high as the hydrants so we could stay home and play all day. Back then, the fire station alarm announced no school, but I don’t remember the call signal. I just remember my mother telling us not to bother getting dressed for school: there wasn’t any.

We’d eat breakfast as quickly as we could, put on all our winter layers and head outside. Snow was never to be wasted.

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19 Comments on ““Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, Filling the sky and earth below, Over the housetops, over the street, Over the heads of the people you meet. Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along.””

  1. splendid Says:

    oh kat i love brefkist for dinner! i make my scrambled eggs with cream cheese instead of milk, they are soooo good. a day on and a day off sounds lovely! how was the movie, it is on my list to see! snow here for the weekend they say…keep your spirits up Spring is on its way!

    • katry Says:

      splendid,
      I really liked the movie, especially Colin Firth. He was wonderful.

      My meals have been haphazard of late-thr larder is a bit empty so the eggs were perfect.

  2. olof1 Says:

    I always got tea and crackers when I got sick and I still have that every time I get sick :-)

    School never closed because of snow when I was young. Now days they do though.

    Have a great day now!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It was tea and toast for us when we were sick. I swear my mother thought it a universal cure-all.

      When I taught, I liked snow days but knew come June we’d have to make up the day, and that I didn’t like.

  3. Bob Says:

    Yes, toast with hot tea was the meal for being sick according to my mother. Something about starving a cold and feeding a fever or the reverse I can’t remember which one to feed. If we had a stomach virus which made us nauseous or throw up, then we got the tea and saltine crackers.

    Before the flu vaccine or anti-viral medications, I had a physician friend who prescribed home made chicken soup when I had the flu about 30 years ago. He had a professor of internal medicine at Tulane University Medical School who did research the flu and discovered that home made chicken soup had all the correct nutrients and electrolytes that your body needed when attacked by the virus.

    I always wondered why so many wealthy Texans would fly to Aspen or Eagle to ski every winter. I think is’t because they did not grow up playing in the stuff or later shoveling the stuff. They think snow is fun. They are snow deprived.

    Have a great day.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Yup, it was toast and tea for us too. I still associate tea with being sick.

      I did read where chicken soup does have medicinal properties. All those mothers knew what they were doing.

      Snow meant sleds down the hill and the long walk back to the top, but flying down that hill was worth the trudge.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    Toast the great sickness standby. Chicken soup, crackers, and peanut butter crackers. I remember so well. But the funniest story was when we moved from DC to Michigan and live a mile from Lake Michigan where the lake effect was unbelievable for kids and the cold Canadian wind would hit our house first. It was a miserable a winter as one could imagine, like where Christer lives. But snow? No School? Forgetaboutit. My kids freaked out when they learned Michigan had no closing law for schools in bad weather, you went if you had to walk there. Many a morning when the school bus couldn’t climb our hill, we took the kids to school ourselves. They were legitimately complaining. They were in shock. NO SCHOOL? No, get in the car. “I haven’t even done my hair”. Cannot stop laughing.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      Yikes, I too would have been really upset if school was always held. My dad left early and we’d have had to trudge through all that snow. I can’t imagine sitting in school wet, cold and miserable.

      Hooray for snow days!!

  5. john Says:

    Yup,
    Tea and Toast will cure just about any disease. And, what those two couldn’t cure, Lipton’s Chicken Noodle Soup (the boxed kind) would.
    Straight across or on the diagonal on the slicing of the toast?

    • katry Says:

      John,
      My mother always cut the toast straight across. I remember how it always seemed to dip in the middle where more of the butter was.

  6. Bert Says:

    Today gives rain which, combined with +4 Celcius, finishes off the snow. We had an unusual (for moderate, sea climate Holland)long period of snow, ending in ice, so making a walk to the car a risky undertaking. I’m old enough to fear for broken hips, although they should be feared at all ages.
    When the snow was fresh it was like clods of whipped cream spread over all bushes and branches; beautiful.
    It took some time befoore the roads were accessible again.
    Still I’m happy that today I can drive out for lunch and shopping.

    • katry Says:

      Bert,
      I love the snow before it is touched by the plow. It just seems so beautiful with the sun glinting off the tops of the snow heaps.

      Now our snow is just a few clumps left by the plow. They are black with dirt and sand. They could use a small bit of covering to make them lovely again.

      We get small storms and some which drop feet of snow. I hire someone to plow and shovel. I’m too old to do either.

  7. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    A day of activity followed by a day of recovery sounds like the perfect sort of life. :-)
    February used to be my month of gloom. It took the month of January to recover from the holidays. But February was just one more month of winter with nothing in it to make it exciting. It was the month that I would take up some outlandish hobby (horseback riding, Japanese sword fighting) or make some bizarre huge purchase (a piano, a horse). Winter crazy!
    When I moved my horse to a barn that did not have an indoor riding ring, I discovered the positive part of February and even most of January. There was enough daylight left after I got out of work to go to the barn and ride.
    No more winter crazy. But November… long dark tunnel into winter.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I’m finding I feel better when I’ve had a day off. Two nights ago I woke up several times. Last night, on my off day, I slept right through until 9. It was lovely. I just got back from diner out and trivia so tomorrow I just sit around, read and recover.

      November here on the Cape is sometimes the prettiest month while January is just cold and dark. I think we should be able to keep our Christmas lights up all winter to keep the darkness at bay.

  8. katry Says:

    Caryn,
    Last night I was coming home from Trivia with friends and decided that lights should stay up all winter. We drover by some really bleak stretches of road which most decidedly needed color.

  9. Coleen Burnett Says:

    I can still remember the signal we had in our little NJ town to indicate no school – - three blasts on a fire horn.

    We also listened to the local radio for school closings. That was a bit tougher, because they did it alphabetically. The kids from Asbury Park knew right away, but us kids in West Long Branch had to wait for what seemed an eternity… :)

    And it was no better as we got older. The name of the high school I attended was (and still is) called Shore Regional. Oh, the agony of waiting as the announcer went down the list!

    Today its all done through the internet. It’s not half as much fun.

    Glad you are making strides, Kat!

    Coleen Burnett

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I had forgotten about listening to the radio, but I now remember us kneeling on the kitchen chairs so we could get close to the radio. We were afraid we’d miss it.

      Nope, I still don’t remember the blasts from the station.

      I went to a high school two towns over, and it started with an A so it didn’t take long. I would have had to have trudge four or so blocks in the unplowed snow to get to the bus so we always hoped.


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