Growing up in the ’60s, it seemed to snow every Sunday evening in the winter. Even a hint of inclement weather would have me praying for no school — and
Growing up in the ’60s, it seemed to snow every Sunday evening in the winter. Even a hint of inclement weather would have me praying for no school — and no chemistry test. We’d look for the ring around the moon and watch for the first flake until bedtime.
Back then, snows were deep, and temperatures were frigid. If our wish for white-covered streets came true, my sisters and I would put on thick long johns, corduroys, two pairs of socks, and rubber galoshes over our tennis shoes. A long-sleeve shirt with a sweatshirt and a coat would be warm enough for sledding until we got tired or too cold.
And then it was time for my favorite part of the day: lunch. We’d each fix our own bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I’d slather soft butter on Bunny bread and slip a slice of American cheese onto each piece. Then another slab of butter would hit Mom’s hot cast-iron skillet, and the sandwich would grill to perfection. I don’t think anyone actually teaches you to smash the sandwich in the skillet; you just know to do it. Grilled cheese sandwiches were always cut on the diagonal, which made for good dipping.
Around midday, Dad would put on a big pot of spaghetti sauce. That sauce is the one family recipe I don’t have — and oh, how I long for it. I remember canned tomatoes, chopped onions and bell peppers, crushed garlic, and extra bay leaves. It would simmer all afternoon, and, to this day, it remains one of my favorite smells.
I still get excited about snow days. I still watch for the first flake and look for the ring around the moon. I feel the cold, moist air and smell the snow, thousands of feet up in the clouds, just waiting to fall. If we’re fortunate enough to get a decent blanketing, I love to lie in the snow and listen to the silence before the neighborhood kids rush out. Snow is Mother Nature’s way of reminding us to keep our inner child alive. But I don’t sled anymore. Instead, I count paw prints in the snow and feel grateful that I don’t have to study for a test, in any subject.