Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't Bother Me

Shhhhhhhh. The rain is falling in Oregon. The Douglas Fir shelters the squirrels and birds. Quiet, I'm listening to the wind and rustle of water laden limbs. Winter lurks in the November sky. Mt. Hood received a foot of snow last night. What is in store for the valley? Shhhhhhh.

Winter seemed to come to the farm when least expected. After a few days of cold weather a sudden winter chill would sit on the trees and driveway. The sky is heavy with the threat of snow, and all children pray it will arrive while Dad put the snow plow in the front of the tractor.

I don't think I will ever forget that childhood love of snow. Fox, Fox, Goose. Snow Angels. Wimpy snowmen. Poor excuses for a snow fort. The snow seldom kept us home, but on those days that we had drifts and flurries, we bundled up to play, to spend the day in the snow.

Mother wrapped me in layers. My white sock hat, a scarf wrapped several times around my neck, rubber boots over my shoes and socks. A couple pair of pants covered my legs. Definitely, I was not waterproof. Heck, I could barely walk. But you know what? I didn't care.

Neighbor kids walked up the lane, sleds following behind. Ours was the only hill around. The little ones would sit in front of an older child. I'm not sure if it was so we little ones would be the first to fly off should we hit a bump or if we were keeping the older kids warm. Regardless, we flew down the hill and across the field....time and time again.

Once back in the house, wet mittens, hats and all the rest were draped over the radiator. The smell of outdoors and wet wool permeated the house. Sometimes we would come in to find hot chocolate waiting and, if lucky, a warm fire in the fireplace.

Snow. Years later I would take my own children for a ride down that hill. We piled onto the sled, and Dad pushed. It was winter on the farm.

Shhhhhh. Listen to the wind. Winter threaten from the arctic air over the blue Pacific meeting up with the east wind blowing down the Columbia River Gorge. The winter wind blows memories of other days....winter back a lane on Neff Road.

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