Fond memories

Mid-afternoon, just after my noon snooze, I was sitting looking out the second-floor large picture window of my room.

I was watching our pair of huskies playing in the deep banks of snow; they just love this kind of weather. Periodically my view would be clouded by gusts of snow, which were blowing across the high-up portion of the window. As it wasn’t snowing, I first thought that it must be blowing off the roof, but on paying closer attention, I found this not to be as it appeared.

When I looked out across the rolling hill fields towards the shadowed outline of the leafless hardwood bush that corners our property, silhouetted against an unsettled sky I could see what was actually taking place. The wind was gusting in swirls, lifting the previous fallen snow from the hillside high, high up in the air, leaving sugar-like crystals falling back to the ground.

When the sun occasionally broke through the clouds, it was a beautiful scene sparkling with diamonds.

Earlier I was out to check my birds in their well-insulated birdie bungalow, and it was then that I realized that these gusts of wind were capable of blowing me off my feet, as well as building drifts of heavy, granulated crusted snow that was impossible to walk in and extremely hard to shovel.

Countering this, I walked with a sharp-bladed, long-handled, round-mouthed shovel. This, with its razor-sharp cutting edge, allowed me to keep better balance as well as indicate where the occasional icy spot may have blown clear nearing the surface.

Strange as this may seem, this cranky weather brought back many memories of the days of yesteryear. One of these was the day we, the Little Lady and I, brought our second-born youngster home from the hospital. The weather was similar to what we have experienced this year. We were snowed out of our laneway from the third week of November until the second week of April.

We lived then in the privacy of an old farmhouse situated well back from a rural route road in the country. Secondary roads were not on the priority list, but an ice storm had taken the phone lines down a week previous, and the phone company, on learning my Little Lady was expecting to go any day now, had, without hesitation, strung a temporary line along the fence to the highway.

The township, too, repeatedly cleared the road of snow each and every day.

He came into the world in a hurry, on the 13th day of February, into the quick-grasping hands of an alert nurse while going up in the elevator to the maternity ward. From there he never much slowed down. When I called the Little Lady four days later, she claimed that “Ross Barrie” was crying because he and his mommy wanted to go home and see his big sister.

I couldn’t argue with that, and as we talked, the snow ploughs rattled past, once again pushing the snow well back on the side road. This led me to suggest that she clear things with the doctor as I was coming to get them. She replied, “We already have.”

The doctor had just checked them both over and, while he was checking the umbilical cord, Ross had squirted all over him, so she felt he was quite happy to get rid of them both.

And so it was, that on his fourth day, Ross had his first ride on a toboggan. I hauled him, cradled in his mother’s arms, up the long, curved, snow-blocked lane from the road to the back porch veranda, snugly wrapped in a huge, warmed by a heated brick, blanket.

Cherished memories such as this are just never forgotten.

Take care, ’cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins