Friday, June 27, 2014

Winter in Pennsylvania

Most years, around the end of October, you can no longer walk out your front door without some bundling up. At least the roads and walkways are clear. The air is crisp. Not too bad. But in your heart, you know what lies ahead. 
It starts out so pretty. All white and pure, glistening in the moonlight. So pretty, indeed.
Then – it keeps coming and coming. Soon you can’t walk out the front door. You (or if you’re lucky, a spouse or paid neighbor child) have to shovel a path to your car or you’ll be trapped. 
If you have a dog in your family, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Where to potty. With several feet of that beautiful white stuff out there and short little beagle legs, where is she to go? She won’t go on the street; she won’t go on the path.  She looks up at you as if to say, “Where is my potty area, Mommy?”  More shoveling. Finally, you get a handle on it and realize it’s going to be OK. 
Oh no, more snow is coming. Another foot? Drifting? It all begins again.
And then there’s the soot, ashes, salt and cinders that the town spreads for our own safety. At the time, it’s a welcome sight. But days, weeks, months later, as the snow melts and the soot is all that’s left on the streets and sidewalks, it’s not quite that welcome. Your shoes, the dog’s feet, the floors throughout the house are all covered with the lovely black stuff. You’re constantly cleaning – your shoes, the dog’s feet, the floors. 
But it’s not over. More snow, and the whole thing begins again. This goes on for months and months, from November to March or even April. 
Finally, maybe around mid-April, you start to feel a little warmth of the sun. Not much, but enough to lift your spirits. By some time in June, you feel like it’s really Summer. Some years, you  may have to wear a sweater or jacket to sit out on the deck at night. Or you may have to fire up the chimnea, but you know it’s summer.   
Before you know it, it’s Labor Day. It’s all over. The leaves are turning beautiful colors. It’s lovely. Lovely, indeed. But you know what Autumn means. Winter is just around the corner. And it will all begin again.


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