Sunday, January 23, 2005

Snow Day! 

All night the plows scraped by, loud in an otherwise silent whiteout. Their headlights lit the blizzard like a snowglobe. Their blades growled at the storm as it raged around us. In turn, the dog growled back, faint under the covers by our feet.

We ran the dryer for extra heat, crept out of bed long past midnight for one last flashlight look at the sparkling snow accumulating under the fire escape, and slept sporadically in that whitest of recurrent noises.

In the end, the storm dumped over a foot of the lightest and fluffiest upon us, the last flakes sifting out of the sky long before my noon awakening. The wife and child were already a bit stir-crazy by then; while Darcie packed a bit, preparing for next Monday's too-soon move to new and better housing, Willow watched some library DVDs and danced around the increasingly bare living room under my just-caffeinated supervision for that first waking hour.

But the windowlure of the sparkling powder proved too much. By one, my daughter and I were stiff and snowsuited, layered and laughing, flying faster every run as the packed path grew stable under our borrowed toboggan sled. Assistant Farm Director Alex and his three-year son Jack came by soon after, and we took a few more turns back and forth, each curled around his own child, before lost mittens drove us all inside, for the hot chocolate that was our rightful reward.

Went out again with an increasingly surefooted Willow just an hour later for another few father-daughter runs. Nominally we had come to clean off the car; in actuallity, her tendency to replace snow under the finally-freed car tires cut short what one day darn well better be a truly productive daddy-kid activity, given my now-aggrivated herniated disk. Today, though, snow angels were much more fun, though we had to be careful: lying back put our faces below the surface level; the whistling wind, if not watched for, tended to throw snow up our noses as we lay there together.

I headed down solo after a second round of warm drinks and regeneration, shoveling hard, the snow light atop the downstairs neighbor's ergonomic shovel, whispery against the broom. Managed to clear the cars in record time, and tackle much of our long parking strip to boot -- a job well done, satisfying despite the lack of earbud-sprung tuneage.

Later, still in our socks, we ate supper in the living room, what with the dining room overloaded with half-empty boxes and packing paper. And afterwards, a short game of hide and seek ("I'll hide in the closet, daddy, and you come find me!"), a story, a kiss and hug: a perfect end to a perfect snow day, the aftermath of the worst storm in years.

Sure, it was a Sunday. And I'm writing from work -- a dorm duty shift taken in trade after Tuesday's illness kept me home. But any day which involves a sleep-in, the wee one's first real sledding expedition, an all-out back-bending car-clearing, hot chocolate and chapped faces until after dark can't be all bad.

posted by boyhowdy | 7:34 PM |

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