Sunday, November 2, 2014
Holy Cow, Will!
You and the ski legends “upstairs” have been busy. After an October full of balmy temperatures and a Halloween that will go on record as one of the warmest in a handful of Halloweens, the big blanket of Willy that I am looking at this morning is another testament to your love for snow.
Friday night I was watching the neighbourhood kids in their Halloween costumes parade from door to door in their “skinny” costumes instead of the “fat” ones we’ve become accustomed to because of the snowsuits the little ones needed to wear underneath their costumes. No little roly-poly’s this year, no mittens or gloves or winter boots and no snow to trudge through. The streets were alive with kids and parents who were not in a hurry to get out of the cold and back into their homes unlike some of the bitter cold Halloweens I remember when you boys were younger.
This morning is quite different. As the snow continues to fall the streets in our Community are quiet. It seems no one is rushing out of their homes… yet. It is still early and soon there will be a few who will venture out to begin to shovel their driveways. By mid morning I’m pretty sure our cul-de-sac will be full of kids in snow gear building snow forts and snowmen, piling snow to build jumps, and the “snow toys” that have been packed away since last winter will find themselves once again all over the yards of those with children. Until three years ago that was our house and if I could wish it all over again I would.
The season of winter coats and pants and wet socks begins. The season of lost mitts and constant reminders to put on warm winter boots is now here. The days of clean clothes being dumped from the dryer so the wet ones could be tossed in to dry while the kettle was boiling water for hot chocolate is about to begin. The front door mess of wet toques and mitts, of snow boots and jackets, and ski pants with one leg turned inside out while sometimes still attached to a snow boot is now a memory of winters past. And perhaps the sweetest memory of all was your rosy cheeks and crazy “toque-head” hair. Many a time, you’d adorn one sockless foot while the other sock looked like a snake because your foot was pulled from your snow boot while your sock somehow wanted to stay in there, your big boisterous voice full of excitement and your unforgettable BIG smile when you’d finally come inside from a building-then-playing session in the big snow. Will, these were the days that I will cherish always — the days I would give anything to have back. I’m sure you also remember my raised voice, the sound of my frustration at the mess that would accumulate at the front door. When I’d tell you to hang up your stuff, you and your brothers would say the same thing, “Mom, it doesn’t fit in the closet” or “Mom, what’s the use of putting it away when I’m gonna put it on again as soon as it’s dry.” And so it seemed that the heap of wet jackets and clothing and all the extra stuff that became a part of the front entrance to our home somehow stayed there for the whole winter. Yup, those were the winters I will fondly remember, the gifts of ordinary winter days.
Today I imagine you up there with your BIG smile and boisterous yippees and yahoos making all that snow that wintertime brings with a big heavenly snow machine. I can visualize you wanting to dump bigger and bigger amounts upon us down here… though not for me per se, but for all the ski nuts like your dad and your brothers and your ski buddies who are anxious to begin a winter full of fun on skis and snowboards. Undoubtedly I will need to remind myself over and over, again and again, in the upcoming months of how much you loved the snow — a tactic I use to get through our winters down here without you. When watching the snow pile up appears nothing but a headache to me, I remind myself of how much you loved it and that can make me smile at all of it (for now).
Love you, Willy. Like a bus and a big heavenly snow machine.