Snow Drifts, and The Night of the Tomato, revisited

Well, Spring is on the way, I heard!    We here in Northern Ohio escaped most of the big snow storm this past week, which is fine with me, but the news weather people were quite disappointed.     It is always so heartening the way they put on parkas and mittens and various snow gear and wade out to the nearest snow drift to pose for the 11 o’clock news segment.      There used to be an old joke about shoveling “partly cloudy” off the front walk on the morning after the prediction of sunshine and warming temperatures.

We never know what to expect here in Ohio in March, when the daffodils are raring to go, and indeed when ready the blooms just open, even there is snow up to their eyebrows.   We have photos someplace of snowdrifts with daffodil flowers laying right on top of the snow.

Back in the 1940s there was a great snow fall in Cleveland.   My Dad and the other men in the neighborhood waded through the waist-high snow (maybe it was thigh-high…but hey, I was a kid) to trudge along the middle of the road to the grocery store, which valiantly opened its doors to the brave men who made it through the deep snow to buy supplies for their families.

Kids all over town were ecstatic, since the school was closed.   Except me…who was sick.   I have written about this traumatic event in my young life before…ten years old and unable to go outside to play in what (as far as I can recall) was the most exciting event ever.      I still remember standing looking out the front window as my brother proceeded to demolish the pristine white snow drifts.    Even at this late date the disappointment is  palpable.     (I have  always been a dramatic kid.)

The television news crew was stranded at the TV studio for a long time, and the exhausted and dedicated News Men were so worn out after being on camera for days (well, many hours anyway) they removed their coats and ties, which was nearly unheard of on the TV in those days.    These selfless and loyal personalities stayed with their fans and watchers throughout the siege…helping the police department care for the needs of the citizens…who were desperate for milk and other life-sustaining items.

Several years later two of my girlfriends, and our boyfriends, were caught in another huge snow storm.   We came out of a movie theater, to find the storm raging…and nearby was a man and woman whose car had become stuck in a snow drift.    We—the boys anyway—helped the couple out of the drift, and they invited us to their house for sandwiches and a hot drink.      That was nice of them, as by this time we were all frozen and starving.

To my horror, the lady served us bacon-lettuce-tomatoes (BLTs), which was something of a remarkable gesture in the middle of winter to have fresh tomatoes and lettuce.    Now, lest anyone fails to understand why the BLTs would be such a bad thing to the point of being a Big Deal to Me.      To that point in time I had never eaten a tomato…I hated tomatoes, and avoided them at all costs.   But now…faced with a tomato sandwich…I HAD to eat it.    Refusing to partake of the couple’s generosity was not possible.

So that’s how I happened to eat a tomato for the first time in my life.    I think of that incident every time I see a BLT….but yes, I do eat tomatoes now, at least in sandwiches with bacon and lettuce.

dreaming daisies

 

when the snow
covers the meadow
in silence
so profound
dreams of daisies linger long
after petal fall

© Sometimes, 2017

The Shadorma is one of my favorite poetic forms.  It consists of six lines…                  of 3, 5, 3, 3, 7, and 5 syllables…respectively.

ambivalence

(Day 12, 2017)

which is worse…cold crisp snow
that freezes the toes and tip of the nose
that chills our  livers  and sends shivers up the spine
—or melting  slush of wet and grime?

in place of charming crunch of boots
and pinching cheeks rosy and frosting young shoots
discouraged from peeping ‘oer the sturdy ground
that protects from  sinking deep in the mire…

wading through former fresh fallen snow,
now transformed into slurping melting slush pools
seeping into shoes and soaking pantlegs
dripping and sogging our ankles..

soon more sparkling drifts of snow
will follow, draping upon the slush of yesterday…
adorning crests and crevices with camouflage
of winter’s beauty…just tread with care.

© Sometimes, 2017

 

Today

Today is a day of white light,
’tis not just any other day
following  a restless sleep
or moving with care by night light.

Snow brings reflection, in more ways than one,
signaling deep thought on one hand–
the other, bright glitter returned by the Sun,
accenting tree shadow bands.

Snowfall brings Beauty and Duty…
mixed emotions cause trouble.
My choice is Beauty
but then–I don’t have to shovel.

©Sometimes,2016

Relativity of Coldness

We tend to be giddy,
recalling snow as a kiddie
over our heads in drifts.

We remember it fondly…
the frozen mittens and scarves,
awkward in snowsuits,
red nose, rosy cheeks….so cold
that the fingers refused to move.

Our plaintive pleas echo across the ages:
“I’m not cold, Mama!
Please let me stay out!”
The pristine snow cover
was calling our presence,
to leave our impression forever.

Many years later–new snow has the power
to bring back the wonder and thrill
of the magic snows…back when we were little.
But the nostalgia soon passes
as mist clouds our eye glasses…
and we remember that our bones are brittle.

©Sometimes,2016