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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: A winter wonderland

© Another Day in the Country

Saturday morning I woke up to snow.

It was just not any old drifting snow, it was the kind that drifts down and settles on every surface, no matter how tiny. The flowerpots were stacked with snow like meringue on pie. The wire on the fences sported snow as if they were crystal chandeliers. Every tree branch held a couple inches of snow stacked high like white frosting on chocolate cake. It was beautiful.

We’d been to Lawrence a couple of days before and our cousin Janet had sent us home with two mini ceramic loaf pans containing two cinnamon rolls each.

“You can give your pan to me,” my sister said, “and I can make little banana bread loaves in them, after you’ve eaten your rolls.”

I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to relinquish mine so quickly. The little pan was white, decorated with pastel confetti. The cinnamon rolls were covered with white frosting and — you guessed it — sprinkled with confetti. This confection was almost too cute to eat.

With mild temperatures, beautiful snow, and no wind, I ventured to my front porch with my cinnamon roll and coffee to sit in the swing and enjoy the view.

In all that white snow, David and Jane’s yellow house across the street stood out like a bright poptart. Our Ramona world looked so idyllic. The only prints in the snow that I could see were delicate cat paw prints leaving my porch and heading across the street.

They aren’t my cats. My cat will not venture out when it is cold outside. Skeeter had followed me onto the enclosed back porch earlier and then dove under the covering on the chaise lounge when she got one look at all the white snow outside. She usually goes under that slipcover when she’s frightened by thunder, but this natural phenomenon was only snow. Maybe she thought I was going to insist she go out the door into the white unknown.

As I sat snuggled in my pj’s and down coat on the porch swing, I could hear Bill with his skid steer down on the main drag plowing the streets. Several other guys on their tractors came slowly down the road, making a path, and waved. This is what I love best about living in a small town — that I know the people who go by my house.

For these few minutes, my whole world is peaceful. Any disruption is far away. All fear and pain is vanquished. There is just this white swath of fluffy perfection covering everything as far as I can see, and a neighbor waving “good morning.”

I’ve lived long enough to know this kind of peaceful existence doesn’t last long, but it doesn’t mean we can’t relish any such moment that comes our way. If it were always a fluff-covered world in Ramona, we’d get bored, take it for granted, and long for something different.

We’ll soon be out shoveling sidewalks. The sun will come out and all the delicate tracery on the fences will vanish into thin air. The snow will drop off the branches with a plop and then melt into mud. The chickens will venture into their yard and scratch around for something more promising to eat and the peaceful, silent, white, perfectly pristine world that greeted us at daybreak will change.

If peacefulness reigns too long, we’re prone to turn on the television. The kids jump in their cars, turn up their music and slip-slide around as they drive past on the muddy roads. They seem to love it if they can leave ruts in the roads — some proof that they’ve been there, made their mark in the world, had some fun. I know that feeling. I love the adventure of doing something exciting, having fun—although I do it with a little more caution these days, and I don’t have a relish for ruts.

Sadly, this wasn’t the kind of snow that promised to stay around long. It wasn’t the kind of snow that you could go sledding on. I didn’t even think it was the kind of snow that is good for building snowmen or making snowballs, but I saw a snow castle in a neighbor’s yard and several snowmen on my way into town.

I discovered that I’m a little like the cat. Skeeter dove under the covers on the porch when she saw the snow. After I’d had my cinnamon roll and coffee, I took off my boots and crawled back under the covers on my bed. It was still early. There was no rush, no appointment to meet. I could snuggle down with a book or check things out on my trusty little electronic tablet and explore the world from under my own down blanket, for as long as I wanted, on just another day in the country.

Last modified Jan. 16, 2019

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