Nearly 30 years ago, I wrote and recorded a piece called “The First Big Snow.”
Somehow, it became one of those stories that my listeners would call and request
Every year when the threat of a heavy snow first appeared in the forecast. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I started to get calls, messages, and emails to make it available again. I am grateful that it meant so much to so many over the years. It is extremely rewarding to me personally when longtime friends and listeners enjoy my prose but to be fair; it’s time for an upgrade. I am no longer the 20-something father with young boys sleeping in the next room. Yes, I have the original and am happy to share it. But now, my babies have babies of their own and the story must be re-told from the perspective of experienced eyes viewing life through bifocals.
I remember vividly, the very morning I wrote “The First Big Snow.” I had gotten up early due to the threat of a major winter storm. I sat at the kitchen table peering outside through the glass as the storm approached. It was so peaceful at the time. About 3 inches of fresh powder had softly fallen, and I could see a lone rabbit track traversing the back yard as I enjoyed my coffee. I could still see the moon, and it was bright. I tried not to stare but couldn’t help noticing my neighbors, Paul & Theresa Kaufman who lived directly across the street.
I could see them sitting together, alone on the floor at the base of their Christmas tree.
Paul worked for the Post Office, and Theresa was a substitute teacher when she could make it possible with five children. They were enjoying a quiet romantic moment because the children were all in bed. Not an easy task for a young couple with so much responsibility.
For goodness sakes, all of those children are now grown and likely have children of their own.
I sometimes wonder if they ever saw their parents the way I did on that cold winter morning.
I decided it was time to get a head start on the hazardous trip before me. Off to work I go. But first, I had to look in at my boys as the snow increased dramatically in intensity. I expected them to be fast asleep. I was wrong. They had their noses pressed against the glass watching the large flakes fall. Rapid fire questions began. Will there be school today? Can you come home early? Can we build a snowman, a snow fort, make angels in the snow and then have hot cocoa with marshmallows? I couldn’t wait to get home that day. There is indeed something very special about the “First Big Snow” of the season.
This is something that many of us need to recognize and appreciate. I realize that many of us lived this experience with our children and the memories are irreplaceable. But think of this.
Do YOUR children (now parents) have the freedom and flexibility to recreate the same experience for your grandchildren? Maybe. Perhaps not. This is the opportunity of a lifetime to give your precious grand babies an experience they will never forget and cement your relationship with them forever. Get out there and roll around. Build a snowman. Make snow angels. Pull them in a toboggan if you are able. Go sledding. It’s all fun & games, and you’ll be adding to an already solid family dynamic.
You don’t have to be out there all day. They’ll get either tired or cold. Then, it’s hot cocoa time, and everybody wins. The memories will last forever. Sure, the first big snow has its headaches. People forget how to drive. But on the other hand, a lot of good husbands & sons topped off Mom’s windshield washer fluid overnight. Many (Like myself) ran to the store to stock up just in case. My pantry is now ready for a major storm, and THAT feels good!
Try your best to get beyond the hassle, the back-ups, etc. and enjoy the quiet beauty of “The First Big Snow” It’s good for the soul.