Winter of the Best Snow

17 Feb

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Winter of the Best Snow
by L. Stewart Marsden

Every Wednesday like clockwork for three weeks in a row
the weather forecasters forecasted deep snow.

Six to eight inches, they predicted each week.
The response of each child was a deep-hearted shriek
of delight, for that night in the dark the clouds would roll in
and silently, softly, the snow would begin
to fall to the earth.

School is closed. Locked up tighter than tight
and no worries o’er hist’ry nor mathmatics tonight —
For tonight all our noses are glued to the panes
of our windows and we know that the remains
of the storm — half a foot of white snow
awaits on the morrow for an army of kids.

Oh! Wax the red runners of Flexi-brand sleds,
Dig out toboggans and mittens and dredge
out old sweaters and stockings and stuff
and muff up our ears and lip balm our lips
and ready ourselves for a snow-trudging trip
to the best sledding hill — a mere four blocks away
where we’ll slide and we’ll glide till the end of the day
on those blue-glowing slopes that provide hours of fun
and finally, toe-numbed, we trudge frozenly home
at the last dwindling rays of the quick-setting sun.

“Strip ’em off here!” order moms with a shout,
and the soggy cold clothing splats onto the floor
of the kitchen where frozen blue bodies step out of the skins
and dash to the bathroom leaving footprints of wet
to thaw in the steaming hot shower or bath
and laugh at the times on the snow hills we had
and anticipate gathering round a warm fire
with marshmellows browning on bent coat-hanger wire.

Heavy cream and vanilla and sugar and snow —
the best winter concoction I ever did know —
a draught of delight — a heavenly brew
a manna no manner of manufact’ring could do.

That was the time — three weeks in a row —
and all who were there remember that snow
with the warmest of mem’ries they ever will know.

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60 Responses to “Winter of the Best Snow”

  1. RoSy February 17, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    Snow days were much more fun as a kid.

  2. anniemaria95 February 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    Ya now a days they suck cause you wanna be with your friends its high school and on the days we don’t have school it sucks

    • skipmars February 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      When you reach my age, you too will think nothing is as good as it was when you were a kid. Even if you think it sucks now, it won’t seem that way down the road. Believe me. Thanks for visiting my blog.

      • anniemaria95 February 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

        Your welcome and I hope so

  3. akleneth February 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    You captured a lot of good feelings here. Great piece!

    • skipmars February 20, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      I’ve replied similarly to the compliment “great”: Bill Cosby has a comedy routine addressing “great.”

      He says that the Bible talks about the creation, and at the end of every creative day, God said it was “good.”

      Memories like these are easy to write about. I’m taking the time to go through and capture many of mine. Not that what I experienced is unique. The value is in the universality of experience.

      Thanks for your compliment, by the way.

  4. miscellaneousposts February 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Reblogged this on What you don't want to hear and commented:
    Pretty good

  5. Darling and Sir February 20, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    Well done. I enjoyed the read.

    ~Darling

  6. nerdycanuck February 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Good job:) enjoyed it.

  7. MindTechNorms February 21, 2014 at 12:22 am #

    very well work done…keep going…i liked it…its nice…as am a new blogger in this world and i wrote just 1 blog (story) (http://mindtechnorms.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/when-god-granted-tittus-to-go-to-earth-for-1-day-part-i/) and unable to find my viewer as like you, can u please help me by reading my 1st blog what wrong with my writing…is really something wrong with my writing or am just expecting too early…your helpful comments will really inspire me… and please follow me…

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      I’ve left a reply on your blog.

  8. Rachna February 21, 2014 at 1:53 am #

    Nice and simple, good read. Reminded me of the few days we had off because of snow. 🙂

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      Some of the backlash here due to the recent snow storms where I live is over having to make up missed school time. Back then, when the poem takes place (I won’t say how long ago), we must have missed close to 2 weeks or more. Most kids walked to schools then, so bus safety was not so much an issue.

      For the life of me, I have no memory of having to make up lost hours/days. Must be we were smarter back then, and didn’t need to. 🙂

  9. BATBOLD February 21, 2014 at 3:08 am #

    old but fancy.. beautiful.. really like that!

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      Old like me. As a fine wine, age is not always a detriment. 🙂

  10. Harsha MP February 21, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    Great article. Enjoyed reading it!!

  11. haridasgowra February 21, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    on reading this really nice! great post!
    Best one1
    #wordpress!

  12. hiren89 February 21, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    Reblogged this on hrnkothari.

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 8:16 am #

      Thanks for passing it along.

  13. awax1217 February 21, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    I now live in Florida and the memory of snow is fading like the melting mass of fog. I remember it was pretty at first and then a pain and ugly.

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 8:16 am #

      New fallen snow, especially the sort that packs perfectly for snowballs, snowmen and snow forts, is the best. But later, when it turns slushy and takes on the ashy pollution of car exhausts? Not so much. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. bvarismyheart February 21, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    Really enjoyed reading this. Brought back those wonderful childhood memories

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      For many, childhood memories are the best.

  15. camptocometoonews February 21, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    I have a sled exactly like yours.They were much easier to ride as a kid,not so easy now that I’am retired.Less snow than years gone by. Big John

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      I resemble your comment.

  16. puspa45 February 21, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Nice

  17. puspa45 February 21, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Ok

  18. kewlkiddo February 21, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    Reblogged this on kewlkiddo.

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 10:48 am #

      Thanks for reblogging my poem, and for dropping by my website.

  19. harrystrider February 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    I think we all don’t fit into that pattern. My life is incredibly better now than way back then. It is true, the world can be a very grim place. Mastering that old adage *Don’t worry about what is out of your control* can truly make a positive difference in one’s life.

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      Different patterns for all. Some similarities. They say no two snowflakes are the same.

  20. costumelady1 February 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Reminds me of growing up in Maine.

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      My parents were from Minnesota, and told of cross-country skiing to school, and, of course, sledding off the roofs of their houses, which were two-stories high. Not sure I believed them, though. Big snows in NC don’t come along too often.

  21. The Flag Style February 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Great job 🙂 check my blog if you Want 🙂

    • skipmars February 21, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      Left you a message on your blog.

  22. id2707 February 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Reblogged this on amolucifer.

  23. The Hopeful Herbalist February 22, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    How I envy veteran tobogaists! We hardly ever see enough snow, the year we gave the sledge away – it snowed and stayed for weeks! Never knew it was such an art 😉

  24. dsize February 22, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Enjoyed it.

  25. nilly writes February 22, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    So many people complain that it is “still winter” and that the snow is just “too much” when it is February (not May) and this is not even close to our record amounts (last year was more). And people are saying they are sick of this, that they are “done”, and that they cannot wait until it is Spring. And even kids are not celebrating snow as much as they used to. Because it prevents them from seeing their friends, from having their parents drive them somewhere, and it changes their schedules. Also, some kids are asked to help their parents shovel (end of the world scenario). But in this poem of yours it is so refreshing to hear about the positive aspects of winter and snow and just how people can enjoy what is happening right now. Oh, and one more thing, I have to commend you for your non-cliche rhyming. I write free-verse poetry myself, but I definitely admire your ability to write a rhyming poem that sounds so natural. Thank you very much for sharing this and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! You deserve it!

    • skipmars February 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      You honor me with your comments. Fluidity is something I enjoy — along with rhythm. Sometimes a clever pun is all I’m after, which becomes apparent if you read more of my work. I’m no threat to serious poets. I enjoy the process.

      Re Freshly Pressed, I’ve been blogging WordPress for three years and quite honestly was not aware of it. That tells you a lot.

  26. Garden Walk Garden Talk February 22, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    Very much snow where I live and my blog talks about people not appreciating the winter and snow. I am glad to read of someone that does and looks at what snow and winter offer. I do! Thank you for your poem.

    • skipmars February 23, 2014 at 12:03 am #

      Where I live weather forecasters often raise expectations and anticipation for deep snow. Hardly ever happens. Yet schools are closed and parents have to reschedule their lives for what?

      That winter we had three straight Wednesdays of snowfall that amounted to above 6 inches each time. During the next few days the temperatures would warm and melt the snow a bit, which only froze overnight. The result was an icy crust several inches thick, onto which the successive snows would build.

      You could not use a sled on such ice. All we had to do was sit at the top of a hill and slide. Great fun!

      There was a catch: you had no control where you went. If slipping down a treed slope, there were the inevitable collisions, shins slamming into bark.

      As in rock, scissors, paper — trees trump knees and shins.

      The experience was so awesome that few could complain, although I’m sure there were those who did.

      When the last snowstorm was forecast, I found myself purposefully disbelieving it would occur so that I wouldn’t be disappointed. And secretly hoping it would. And wondering if it could repeat three Wednesdays in a row.

      The first flakes fell here on a Wednesday, and I kept watching as it slowly accumulated. Didn’t drive anywhere. Just watched.

      The poem bubbled up over that time. I don’t remember if the news back when the three-week snows hit was as consumed as this time — we took things in stride back then.

      Thanks for your comment.

      • Garden Walk Garden Talk February 23, 2014 at 12:28 am #

        Thank you for your long reply. Storms are hard to predict, even here where they are likely. One missed us last week and we will see with the one coming for next week.

  27. jbogram February 24, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    Snow days used to be the best part of my childhood, staying at home in the warmth or out sledging on the hills it was exciting to know I didnt have school the next day too.

  28. @realbrettrossi March 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring
    a blog article or vice-versa? My website goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could
    greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel
    free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Terrific blog by the way!

    • skipmars March 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Let me take a look at your blog, and then we can begin a dialogue. That OK? Part of that would include what you have in mind. Perhaps it’s just a matter of reblogging.

      Skip

    • skipmars March 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      So you tweet and do not have a blog? Help me understand what you would like to do . . .

  29. bethechangebutterfly March 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Lovely poem! Brought back childhood memories of sledding all the live long day and ending with hot chocolate with marshmallow floaties. Ahhh…the good olé days. Thanks for the memory refresher.

    • skipmars April 1, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      I see from your blog you are from an area that probably has been hit hard by snow and ice and cold this winter. The reverie of that best snow had to do with something that rarely occurs in the south. Three Wednesdays in a row. Lots of snow — at least half a foot of it each time. I can smell the time!

      Thank you for your comment.

  30. ar1112013 April 6, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    I love your blog please look at mine at http://marmadukesbook.wordpress.com/

  31. nimslake April 12, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Thank you for that reawakened memory. :-). Such a delightful piece.

  32. skipmars February 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    Reblogged this on Writing Odds n Ends and commented:

    In tribute of days long-past; of a time long-remembered.

  33. Marie February 24, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    The snow here is 5ft easily but beautiful. Now, if the roof would stop leaking!

  34. Marie February 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on Nobody's Grandmother.

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