A new story about Annie and her love of snow (and no, this is not a desire to rush winter).
It was a winter of snows upon snows; a winter of snowmen, of snow angels, and of snowball fights with friends. It was a time for romping through thick, fluffy snow, playing games of Fox-and-Geese with the neighbors, and attempting to walk atop snow stiffened by freezing temperatures without breaking through the crust. This was also a winter to get out the sled for racing down hills or ice skates for skating on frozen ponds, but Annie’s family didn’t live near any sledding hills and pulling the sled around the backyard quickly became work, not fun.
Frankly, Annie loved snow; she looked forward to it and became excited when she saw the first frost on the ground. When she was even younger, she had thought that frost was snow, but her mother told her not to rush it, that snow would come fast enough as it was.
With all the snow, it was also a year in which shoveling sidewalks and driveways were a common occurrence. But, Annie loved snow (and not just for the days when school was cancelled for waist-deep snow) because it meant shoveling. She and her younger sister Carrie had shiny red shovels of their own. They were smaller versions of the ones her parents used. Although she and Carrie were probably not the most effective of workers, they were always proud of the small contribution they made to the shoveling.
Every day it seemed to snow, and every day Annie, her sisters, and her parents shoveled to keep the drive clear of snow and ice. To the left and right of the driveway, the snow piled up. The largest pile, the pile near the garage, grew taller, larger, and rounder with each successive snowfall. However, no matter how big it was, or however much Annie and her sisters might have wanted to jump in it, the rule was that this snow pile in particular (and the other piles along the edge of the driveway) was off limits. Anywhere else was okay for play, but not there.
Which was why Annie and her two sisters were shocked when one late afternoon when rising temperatures were bringing about a thaw their dad began tamping down this mountain of snow. It directly countermanded the rule to keep the snow off the cleared driveway.
“It’s about perfect,” he said.
“Perfect? For what?” Annie and her sisters asked.
“You’ll see,” was all he said. He continued to pack down the snow as he formed a couple of steps and a platform long enough for the sled. Finally, with their help he formed a ramp down to the bottom.
And they did see–a small sledding hill. That night they all slid down the slope, taking turns. Time after time the sisters carried the sled to the top, climbed up the steps, and swooshed down the short hill until it was dark, and they were thoroughly soaked. Although it was only about four foot high and five foot long, over the next few days, this hill gave them hours of pleasure, that is until the snow turned soft and slushy and melted away.
Nancy Brady, 2016