Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow Day: a collective list

I asked friends to let me know what they were doing on this snowy day (or what they've done on other snow days) and here is what they shared:

sled right past the "no sledding" sign

make a snow man on a picnic table

bend my knees and skate down a hill in my sneakers 

have an icicle sword fight

standing outside this morning admiring the crystalline snow, when five bluebirds appear — an unexpected addition to a snowy day

at the opera at Regal Cinema — Falstaff —pretending I am at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC

make a minestrone soup in the crock-pot and serve it with freshly grated cheese

search online for tickets to the Caribbean and then think better of it

shovel and then shovel some more

cancel nonessential plans

make yogurt pancakes and top them with pecans

clean the bird cages — sometimes I forget to do this on non-snow days so I always do it when it is snowing

shovel the first round and look — really look — at the undisturbed whiteness; absorb the silence 

crochet, sew, do some fun artwork, and make time and space for creative thinking 

spend the afternoon reading old New Yorker magazine articles (2006!) — one about Sam Shepard's playwriting career, and one about the impact of psychopharmaceuticals on the mental health of our culture

install a second shower head, for double showering on cold mornings

pet the cats, pet the dog, feed the birds

sit and stare out the window; wish upon a snowflake; imagine I am a snow queen 

soak my feet

make a list of things to be grateful for today

read some of Paradise Lost

make a smoothie for me and my family

start reading Lauren Bacall's autobiography, By Myself

listen to Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run — my latest obsession —over and over

avoid anything to do with work

bake Grandma Ruth's sugar cookies with pink icing

eat crab corn chowder soup with Ritz crackers

wrap holiday gifts in front of my electric "woodstove;" read children's Christmas books in front of the "woodstove;" read Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things, also in front of the "woodstove"

fill the birdfeeder and put out a new cake of suet; bless the black, gray and white of winter birds; watch for scarlet wings against the snow

listen to Carlos Nakai's album, Winter Dreams, snuggled in a quilt that I pieced and my sister quilted

watch the snow fall while dreaming myself back into the wonder of girlhood

light a spruce scented candle.

ignore my to-do list (the one with all the shoulds) — after all, isn't a snow day as much about what you aren't doing as what you are?

listen to the silence, as the noises around me are dampened by the snow

struck by how beautiful a simple, monochromatic landscape can be

read my favorite book, fingering its well-loved pages while listening to the soft crackle of the fire

the warmth of a mug of tea beneath my hands, and simply existing is blissful

goulash; hot chocolate; boots and big socks 

walk the grand-dog; protect the cats

go to the play Black Pearl Sings at the Kitchen Theatre

a cilantro martini at Mia Restaurant on the Commons

take the same picture I take every snowfall:  flowerpots on the deck mounded with snow

watch clumps of snow fall from the tall trees behind my house — hear them plop softly into the snow below

wait impatiently for the plow-guy; feel sad when he comes, slashing a track through the unbroken snow

think about listening to some Christmas music; opt for silence

a pair of Blue Jays at the feeder

edit photographs

hang art on the wall

do laundry

make time to play

pile up the pillows and blankets and hide underneath

a long walk in the snow, then home for tea

imagine places with no snow — how strange to live there

imagine Antarctica and so much snow there, and Emperor penguins

play in the backyard with my dog

stay home and shop on-line (since traveling downtown is not really an option)

keep the radio tuned to NPR all day

a long talk with my sister

remember other snowy days: kissing created heat inside the frigid air

look up, look out, look down — into the light, away from it — from each perspective, the snow seems to fall at a different speed

snow dragon, snow sneaker, snow dancer — so many more possibilities than snowmen 

balance barometric pressure ("stay under the covers!!") with soul pressure ("getting to writing circle will cheer you up!")

take photos of brave and beautiful plants under their snow coats and hats

turn face up to blink and catch flakes on dimples

get whupped by the Los Angeles Times crossword

feel lonesome from the urge to hibernate

send up a wave of thanks for lightbulbs, furnace, earmuffs, Gore-Tex, wool, Vibram soles, and for those who make them usable

sit on the sofa and wrap a blanket around me and the dog, making a nest for two

film my beloved walking the dog over Fall Creek; I even remember to turn on the camera

help make cookies, then help eat them (just to be sure they're okay)

ski down the driveway that curves around the catalpa tree
harvest the kale hidden under the snow
toss some raw peanuts for the chipmunks
get out the Chinese scissors, fold origami paper and cut snowflakes
light candles and read Mary Oliver poetry aloud
take the grandchildren sledding at the Plantations
walk the path along Six Mile Creek and sing Christmas carols off tune (that’s the only way I sing)
watch the snowflakes meandering downward to earth and feel grateful that I don’t live in Southern California
sweep the steps of soft, silent snowflakes
make Constant Comment tea using apple juice and a touch of cinnamon
catch snowflakes with red mittens; giggle when giant snowflakes hit my eye

observe fresh footsteps in powdery snow

skate down sidewalks

big romance and gigantic kisses under snowfall

walk, and walk, and walk, and walk

tell Winter how in love I am with her

bake bread; knit baby items; go skiing

pick up our Bolivian Rotary exchange student

cook dinner for my family

hunker down with a good book for the evening

venture out into the world of holiday shoppers and hope to return home safe and sound without emotional scars

e-mail family and friends about holiday travels and remind 
everyone that I love them

snowshoes or sledding today?

create a blizzard with my snow blower, causing me to become lost in my own driveway.

watch the snow accumulate on my windowsill while my cat sleeps on my lap

break down barriers built by the town’s snowplow

sit in my hot tub as soft flakes drift onto me and the water; leap from the hot tub into 8” of snow; then back into the hot tub 

sip brandy-laced eggnog in front of a roaring fire at the end of the day
shovel and slide; then pack

stand on the front porch in slippers thanking the landlord for shoveling the sidewalk, a pathway to my back door, and even removing the snow from my car

take a walk with my Florida brother who is totally delighted, making snowballs, ready to build a snowman in our back yard — he is a 52 year old man but he's a young boy at heart, filled with wonder today

look at pictures of camels in the snow in Cairo, apparently it's the first time it's snowed there for 112 years (according to a post on Facebook)

cozy dinner indoors with family, shared warmth on all levels

deer on a neighbor's lawn, seen through falling snow, like a Japanese print
make Christmas crafts with my granddaughter

watch It's a Wonderful Life while eating popcorn and drinking hot chocolate

warm tea, dark chocolate, red wine, buttered toast

sitting with a lap cat in my lap

cross country skiing

write a card or three; scroll on the computer; recycle old papers; play Boggle or Bananagrams

gaze out the window; daydream; reflect on yesterday; nap

put on my snow boots; take off my snow boots

listen to music: Fairport Convention, Samite, Donna the Buffalo, Sim Redmond Band



play dolls with  my daughter

arrange a play date

dress more colorfully than I ordinarily would, in shades of green, purple, orange, blue, red, with a splash of pink dots as well

worry about things, especially snowy things, and then stop worrying

wait, more impatiently than usual, for the mail to be delivered 

start reading a new collection of haiku, written by a friend, that arrived in the mail today 

Thank you to all these contributors:

Anne Klingensmith
Annie Wexler
Barbara Force
Barbara Kane Lewis
Bue Waters
Jackson Petsche
Janet Klock
Judith Sornberger
Karina Burbank
Kathleen Morrow
Kathy Hopkins
Kathy Kramer
Kitty Gifford
Laura LaRosa
Linda Pope
Maude Rith
Mihal Ronen
Nancy Gabriel
Nancy Koschmann
Nicole Ja
Noemi Kraut
Peggy Haine
Randi Prieve
Raymond Edwin 
Saskya van Nouhuys
Sharon K. Yntema
Sue Norvell
Susan Neuenschwander
Tom Clausen
Wendy Gutman
Zee Zahava