Snowshoes

Today’s snowstorm is now a blizzard. About 12″ are on the ground, with more underway.

The gym and the office building are closed, and most of our kids are away at college or on an exchange program in Italy. I’m caught up with work emails and social media.

So, it seemed like a great time to break out the snowshoes and go for a walk. It was beautiful outside.

There was no one out other than a few plow trucks. The snow under my feet was soft. It was eerily quiet.

I decided to walk to a main road in our town. It was a slow 45-minute meander to get there. Shop after shop was closed, even the local Starbucks.

Amazingly, the grocery store was open. It seemed like a good time to pick up some potato chips and chicken wings from the hot bar. My snowshoes and Russian fur hat caught some furtive glances from the few store employees present.

Outside of the store, under a protective overhang, there were some benches. It was a great spot to eat a snack.

Some of the snow shovelers were out. I traded a few phrases of Spanish with one. Fortunately, we switched quickly to English.

He is from Guatemala, he told me. I learned that there are 32 dialects there. He was very kind and very happy. We joked for a bit. Honestly, it was one of those serendipitous interactions that you remember for a long time.

With that, we said our goodbyes, I put on my gear and headed back.

The walk back home took an hour, as half of it was up a steep hill. The wind was really blowing now.

I walked by house after house, wondering what people were doing. I crossed over mounds of snow, getting winded at times. It felt good to get the heart going, and I was starting to sweat under my layers.

I remembered the days when our children were young, and we went skiing every winter weekend. I recalled how we used to sit in the ski lodge to warm up, and how those days seemed both long ago and recent.

I wondered how my out-of-town children were doing. I wished them well.

With that, I was home. I opened the front door and a gush of warm air greeted me. Our youngest child had finished baking dessert and was cleaning in the kitchen. Mrs. T. was painting at the breakfast table.

I really started to sweat and rapidly took off my layers. Both tired and refreshed, I settled down for an afternoon of hot tea and quiet reading.

If you’re in New England, I hope you are riding out the storm with ease and warmth.

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