As an adult, snow and I share a difficult relationship. Snow wants to do what it’ll do, and I prefer that it doesn’t disturb my routines. I think these things even knowing that snow is necessary for the snowpack that provides us water throughout the year (so go up in the mountains and snow heavy there, right?) and some of our local industries (like the ski lodge on Mount Ashland) depends on the snow.
But a day of blinding, fat flurries (like today — look out that window — how can you not?) always takes me back to snow memories, especially childish times. When I was a boy in school, seeing snow outside the windows was a harbinger of entertaining times like snowball fights, forts, and sledding. Snow diffused daylight, blending night and day into a special, secret zone of being. Snow muffled the sounds and tamped adult activities, leaving the world to us, the brave, the crazy, the children. Interruptions would arrive – cars stuck on hills, tires spinning in a whining hiss, vehicles with chains clanging past, snowplows grinding by, building new boundaries of small mountains alongside the roads.
Après outings were coming into a warm house where boots, mittens, and layers of frozen soaked clothes were shed. All had to be hung, put onto radiators or into dryers, depending on the era and house. Hot chocolate with marshmallows and cookies were offered, or tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches (white bread and American cheese, in those days) with a dill pickle.
Evening would come with a hesitant stillness, slipping in like it didn’t want to disturb the world. Books were read, drawings were completed, games played, television watched. Popcorn and fudge was made. The television was watched for news — would there be more snow? Will school be cancelled tomorrow? (Fingers crossed, breath held, eyes big as the news was awaited.) And more gazing out the window, at the amazing white world and the wonders of snow, were indulged.
Young and innocent, protected and secure, playful and happy. Everyone should enjoy such a life.
Floofamble (floofinition) – A leisurely stroll by an animal to stop and sniff things, wash and preen, observe the world, and think.
In use: “Jade didn’t like to hurry, preferring a floofamble to a rush, tail twitching as she sniffed the flowers and watched the birds.”
Layfloof (floofinition) – Animals who enjoys laying down and frequently indulges themselves by doing so.
In use: “The big dog was a layfloof who employed puppy eyes to get extra treats and forbidden foods (like hotdogs and pizza!) so it was necessary to begin an exercise program with him.”
Floofaway (floofinition) – 1. When an animal (especially a pet) is absent from its usual location or isn’t following its regular routine. 2. The noises and motions made to shoo an animal away.
In use: “Not finding Meep in his usual locations, Michael decided that the ginger boy was on a floofaway, and wondered how long it would be — and where he was.”
I was just up (peeing, actually), when the lines from “While You See A Chance” (Steve Winwood, 1981) came to me.
When some sad old dream reminds you
how the endless road unwinds you
while you see a chance, you take it
find romance, fake it
because it’s all on you
I always enjoy that section in particular. It’s an uplifting song to me, one of several favorites that Steve Winwood put out as a solo artist. Looking for confirmation a bit ago, I verified that he didn’t write the lyrics alone, that it was co-written by Will Jennings. I thought that I’d read that but couldn’t recall the details. Thanks to Wikipedia for the reminder.
The title, too, always strikes me; not, ‘when you see a chance’ but ‘while you see a chance’. Act while you see it, not when you see it. Like that subtle difference.