Snow. It started late last night and continued ’til midday, piling up on streets, steps, trees, cars, and rooftops, bringing with it peaceful silence and a day of rest for many of us. In the morning I shoveled all 14 feet of my sidewalk. There is something nice about a narrow house on days like this! Then I shoveled many of my neighbors’ sidewalks and steps since they also have about 14 feet and it just makes it too easy to do something nice for someone else. Time to dig out the car. Fortunately the snow was light and fluffy at this time and I was able to brush it off my car, all except the center of the top, since I am only 5 feet one inch and I couldn’t reach. Neighbor John came by and offered to help me continue to dig out. Then he noted that my car had a mohawk! After he went on his way, couldn’t resist making a face from the snow that I had piled up next to my car. The face looks sort of like the father of my children without his glasses, when he was young and had a beard. Okay, so a little more bug-eyed, but hey, we were sometimes like that.
Then I wandered back home and started making a snowman. At least, I started with the idea of making a snowman. Then it evolved into a snow-woman, an old snow woman with curly hair, long ears and a wide smile. I was thinking of my wonderful grandmother, Nonne, and my mother who would be old now if she had lived, and my mother-in-law, Jane, down in Florida. My heart ached.
Jamie from next door came out and happily, we had a snowball fight. Haven’t done that since my kids were little. She told me of a great idea she read about: Fill water ballons with water, add food coloring, and place outside. Once they freeze, cut the ballon off and and you have colored balls of ice. I hope to try it this winter, but right now I don’t have any food coloring in the house. Time to get some anyway – Easter is on its way. I might color eggs with my students. It would be a nice treat when they walk in to see me.
Oh – I’m a speech-language pathologist by trade, which involves its own type of creativity and is lots of fun, at least when I’m in a well functioning school. Thankfully, this school year has been the best in many years, to a great extent because I have marvelous principals. Principals set the tone for their schools and a good one is worth his or her weight in gold. I’m in two different middle schools and enjoying both of them. For many years I worked in elementary schools but this has been a great change. As one teacher put it, “Who needs T.V. when you have middle schoolers.”
After spending some time warming up inside, I wandered around the neighborhood with my friend, Barbara N. We saw beautiful families and friends playing in the snow and some very artistic versions of snowmen. One fellow, Brad, had potter’s tools that he was using to carve a face on his snowman. He didn’t know what they really were, but somehow had them around. He was also using a scraper that he had bought from the hardware store. He also wasn’t quite sure what it was for, but bought it because he thought he might have a use for it one day. When I asked if he was an artist he replied, “Oh no, it’s just something to do. I got bored of watching T.V. indoors.” In ‘real life’ he teaches business at Towson University. Well, my friend, an artist is someone who does art ergo…
The muse goes where it wants. It perches on our shoulders at the most unexpected times. Sit awhile, have an unexpected lull in your life, and it may snake its way between your legs like a cat or hit you over the head like a mugger.