Remembering and Now Understanding
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Funny how the joys of the young are sometimes repeated in the attitudes of the elderly, and I guess that’s me now. Watching the snow blow across my window today I remembered very clearly the snowy day my brother and I stood outside of our garage at home. We each held the ropes of our sleds and with open mouths attempted to catch the heavy flakes. I wasn’t outside today and wasn’t laughing happily but I was enjoying the falling and drifting snow.
When I was older and boarding my horses at a friend’s barn, it was, after the first twenty minutes perhaps, a very different story. As the storm began to blow harder, the hoses had to be broght in from the pasture. Before we brought them in it was a rush to clean the twelve or fourteen stalls – I can’t remember how many – a lot it seemed – and make them fresh with clean bedding. Before the stall cleaning, the ice often had to be chipped out of the water buckets and they refilled. Then when the water pipes to the barn were frozen it meant going across the yard to the outside water faucet and carrying those five gallon pails back down to the horses.
When the horses were in and happily munching their grain and hay, my friend and I went up to her house. The wood stove in the kitchen was shedding very welcome warmth and her mother was sitting in the window watching the snow come down, heavier and heavier. We got used to it as the winter came on, but to see her delighted smiles and hear her exclamations of “Isn’t it beautiful!” made us grind our teeth because at that time we weren’t seeing the beauty only the extra work that fell to us with the snow.
My friend’s mom is gone now and as I sat in my window delighting in the first snow storm of the season, I remembered and I finally understood.