by little red pen
The ground was white yesterday, thick with hail and treacherous. School was cancelled, because we don’t cope well with adverse weather here — winters are cold, but it only snows a couple of times a year, so we’re not set up for it as those in more consistently wintry climates are.
Every time, there’s a scramble to find gloves, hats, boots and scarves, a mild panic as we realise that some vital cold-weather gear has been outgrown or lost since last year, a dreadful slowness as we try to remember how to put all those layers on and walk on icy ground and throw a snowball. Obviously, the children are more intuitive about all this, the snowball throwing at least. It takes a great deal of effort to stay warm and fed. No-one knows which radio station plays the cancellation notices, and we all text each other frantically, trying to organise the day.
Then, after a while, we’re in the zone. The fire is on, maybe some soup cooking on it, we’re drinking hot chocolate, we’ve tromped and slid and stomped and slipped. We’re snug in our little bunker, watching the sky and the gradual shift of the roads on the hill opposite from white to grey. We do puzzles, play cards, get a little ratty with each other, then burst outside for fresh air. We return, take off the layers, settle by the fire again. We accept, as we didn’t last week, that we’re in winter now, and that each day the sun shines is a blessing.