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12/01/2010

Slightly Wordy Wednesday - Child of Snow



"Child of Snow ... " words from 'Winter Lady' by Leonard Cohen. It's what I'm listening to.

I remember ...

When the snow was deep and newly fallen, and Uncle Bill had shoveled the sidewalk in front of our house and the house next door because old man Svetich had left one day and never came back and there were only women in the house old enough to shovel anymore. And he made piles of snow along the sidewalk higher than my head and it was almost like being in tunnels of snow all white and silent because he shoveled the little walks that led to the street so there were corners you couldn't see around and you could hide and throw snowballs at people. Except at two years old and in a thick snowsuit, snowballs were hard to make and throwing them was even harder.

I remember ...

Trips to Palos Hills with an old toboggan and the climb up the hill dragging that toboggan and the incredible bouncy ride down the hill that always seemed too short - and then the long trudge back up the hill, which always seemed too long. But there'd be another breathless slide down the hill that made the task of getting back up the hill more than worth it.

I remember ...

Getting in Grandpa's car and it was SO cold in there, sitting on the back seat in the snowsuit with mittens on and nose cold and runny. And runny nose fell to top lip and licking tongue and then you got chapped lips. Mom would put Chapstick on because you'd been licking your lips too much - because you didn't know any better. And you had no idea what Kleenex was for - and then when you DID learn, it made your nose sore so you went back to licking your lips.

I remember ...

Walking to school down Keeler Avenue past Bosley Lumberyard and the little hill that fed down under the viaduct - that would pack down with snow and we'd stand and slide down that little hill to the sidewalk and try to make it to the other side of the viaduct before a train could come and scare the crap out of us.

I remember ...

Snowball fights with Bobby and Joey and Bronco from over on Cermak Road and Mikey and his brother Billy from down the alley and they were even poorer than we were so they never had good winter stuff and they were always cold.

I remember ...

Snow down the back. Getting whacked in the head with an unexpected snowball. Making snowangels in the front yard. Mom coming out on the front porch and calling my name to come in the house and have lunch. Snuggling under the covers after an afternoon of wet and cold play outside.

I remember. I remember.

Ndinombethe.

5 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

*sigh* It isn't like I don't have memories of my own of winter, but even if I could get the whole picture on the screen, I don't think that I would be able to put them to words half as well as you have done with your memories.

L&R
Mark

Grandmother said...

My Boston winter memories are quite similar. I also remember my toes getting frozen when skating on the neighborhood pond and my father rubbing them back to life when I came home- and it hurt!

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

God, I miss the snow. It doesn't snow enough down here and when it does, it's just a half-inch. Disappointing. I wish my kids could have those snow memories.

Bama Cheryl said...

Great memories. I remember being out playing in the deep white stuff and getting it all caked and stuck inside my mittens and then taking them off to pick it out, somehow thinking that that would help the situation when all it did was make my hands colder.

Mags said...

I love this post. <3

You know, people don't have nicknames like Bobby and Bronco anymore. If I ever have kids, I'm going to make sure that they either have a nickname like that, or they call one of their friends that. Whether they like it or not!