Well, here it is: winter. Not even the weatherman can prepare you for that first snowfall. Sure, they show you the picture of the cloud with the little snowflakes coming out of it, and tell you that the barometer is falling, but it takes that first real flake you see falling to your grass—and sticking—to make you believe really it. Especially after last winter, snow feels foreign, something that happens to someone else.
I am the sort of person who intends to be well organized, but can’t seem to follow through to the end of the project. Earlier this fall, I was intent on following my list of “winter preparations.” First on the list is to call the guy who plows the drive and shovels the walks. Then I had to think of all the other things that were John’s “jobs,” including turning off the outdoor faucets, putting up the few storm windows, putting away the outdoor furniture. Those were accomplished with help from my family.
Then I had to locate the zip-in lining for my jacket, the hats my sister knit for me, my mittens, my scarves, and my boots.
Ah, yes. The boots. I didn’t think that boots could shrink, but mine did, so I went out to look for a new pair. I bought some that were waterproof, warm, and not so ugly that my daughter would roll her eyes every time I put them on. I did all this back in November.
When I woke to a winter wonderland Sunday, I marveled at how spectacular the scenery can be in our little valley. Each branch was covered so completely and evenly that I thought my father-in-law, Harold Edstrom, had returned from the Great Beyond to flock them for Christmas. The lawn was blanketed in white, criss-crossed with rabbit and deer tracks. The light fixture at the foot of the sidewalk wore a little cap of fluffy white. I could have stared at the scene all day. Then I realized that I had to go out in it, and gave a little shiver. In the olden days, I would have run out and made a snow angel on the lawn, looked for my ski wax and rushed off to enjoy it. Now, I wouldn’t dare attempt a snow angel, for fear that I would end up in the newspaper with some embarrassing headline like: “Woman Found Frozen to Death on Lawn; Made Snow Angel and Couldn’t Stand Up Again.”
I dressed warmly, put on my winter jacket, my gloves, and my…new boots were nowhere to be found. “How can you lose your boots, for heaven’s sake?” I would ask the kids when they were younger. “Look harder!” I found myself repeating that question and admonition to myself. How could I lose a brand-new pair of boots? I looked until I realized I would be late if I didn’t leave the house, so threw on a pair of boots that my daughter bought me in 1993. (Yes, they look very dated.)
I am hoping that I find my new boots. It’s a shame to lose boots you haven’t even worn yet. I’m afraid that I may have thrown them out with the trash and recycling that I convey in the back of my car to the end of the driveway.
The only solution to this dilemma is to go south for the winter…if only. For now, I am the one in the ‘90s boots with the chunky heels. I bet if I looked hard enough I could also dig out my ‘90s thong unitards, neon leg warmers, a little bling, and my fake fur-lined trench coat. Then I’d really be lookin’ fine and chillin’. Like, not!
P.S. I found my boots when I was looking for Christmas presents I have hidden somewhere in the house!
P.P.S. I still haven’t found the Christmas presents.