The first snow of the season is always an event.
Oh, it was only three inches but it still looks pretty. We were up early this morning to do the shoveling. We had several guests at the inn last night, so we wanted to be assured that they could be safely on their way. I enjoy the muffled quiet of the morning just after a storm. It was a wet snow so the shoveling was heavy and the trees & bushes were bowed. Is it trite to say that it was a wonderland? Well perhaps, but for a few moments I felt like a small child again seeing all of the frozen beauty around me.
Memories of winters past rushed into my head. I thought of making snow angles with my little sister at our childhood home in Rocks Village, Massachusetts. I remembered walking up the hill to the two room school house. As we walked together, when ever a car passed we would climb up onto the snow banks until it had passed. I recall Dad teaching my brother and me how to shovel snow. He had it down to a science. With the shovel he would carve out a block, then lift up the block and toss it to the side of the driveway. When I was a mother, we lived in Pennsylvania for a few years. There was a record breaking snow storm, I taught our youngest daughter to shovel snow using her grandfather’s technique. The neighbors were in awe of our efficiency. She never new her clever grandpa but his legacy was passed on to the next generation.
On another occasion after a massive storm that had crippled the Washington DC area, our middle daughter was moving into a townhouse in Georgetown. We drove our SUV from New England to help her. The streets had not been plowed, much less the sidewalks. As the residents struggled to extricate their cars, we came driving down the middle of the road, all four door opened and out of each door came an O’Connell with a proper shovel. In no time the way was cleared and the move was completed before sundown.
Another snow that brings back treasured memories was a Christmas storm in 2010. Our three and a half year old grandson had been adopted from India just six weeks earlier. His parents left me to care for him one afternoon. It had just snowed, so we dressed up and went outside to build a snowman. At the time, the little guy had no idea what we were doing but we had fun anyway and the photo of us with our creation is still hangs on his Mom’s refrigerator in San Diego. The following day the entire family dressed and were preparing to go out on an excursion. The little guy looked up at me with those beautiful dark eyes and patted his hands together. He thought that we were going out to build another snowman. Tears came to my eyes as I told him no, but I knew that we had formed a bond.
Our guests have checked out and the inn is very still. It will be empty for a few days and after the New Year celebration, we will begin the process of taking down the Christmas decorations.
As we head into the quiet season, the warm Christmas memories of family and friends gathering, the delicious food the sparkling decorations and the beautiful music, make me proud and happy that we have this lovely old inn, where we all can gather.
Happy New Year, Bill & Pat