Five years ago my husband Alex and I were in Connecticut to visit my father and brother. I was desperate to get to Portland, Oregon because my daughter was expecting baby number two within a week. The day we were to drive to the Hartford airport, the sky opened and dumped nearly two feet of drifting snow. My brother and my husband, both heroes, spent the morning snow blowing and shoveling the long driveway so we could get out to the road. In my haste to get going I slammed my husband’s finger in the car door. He good-naturedly gathered a baggie of snow, stuck his poor mangled finger in it and told my brother to drive on. We made our flight. The plane took off. The baby was born a week later.
Now we’re in Portland again, waiting for baby number three. In Connecticut this weekend the skies opened again, and although the thoughts of being snowed in with a cozy fire and a nice tumbler of scotch are appealing, I’m glad I’m here in Portland where we have had neither a blizzard nor an earthquake.
My phone was awake with messages this morning about the large and scary earthquake in Alaska. Everyone – even a neighbor who lived through the 1964 earthquake – said it was the scariest one ever. At least it had that effect in Anchorage. Snow seems tame and benign compared to rolling floors and swaying light fixtures. Our house sitter reported that all the pictures and paintings on our walls were askew. And, she said, “You have so many pictures!!”
I remember certain snowfalls and snowstorms from my childhood. Some memories are vague and some so vivid. Before I-91 went in, my mother and I walked one winter day from our house on East Center Street through the snow to the farm on Whirlwind Hill. The road was quiet and without passing cars. I picture the snow forts and snowmen we made in our yard on the days school was cancelled. My mother always said that the best thing ever was to ride in a horse-driven sleigh over snowy fields. And I’ve always loved seeing the dark branches of elms and oaks and the long sinews of stone walls etched against a stark white New England landscape.
So here are a few photos of snow in and around Wallingford and Whirlwind Hill. I’ve written this in haste, so excuse any typos or bad grammar. My mind is on snow as I write, and my memories wanted to be woken up. Hope all of you are safe and cozy. Remember – it’s still winter!!