The Snowstorm

Many of you are probably suffering through this storm right now. It’s a big one and I doubt if we’ll have power by morning – the disadvantage of living in a very small town in the mountains.
But, there are advantages. After the snow had been falling for about an hour, I pulled on my daughter’s pink and tan hand-me down boots, a water-proof North Face jacket, and headed down the mountain to the bridge over the Greenbrier.
No traffic. No sound. No people. Even the animals were silent throughout town. I kept thinking of the short story, Silent Snow, Secret Snow, as I walked. We haven’t had much snow this winter and this storm was a reminder of things and times long past.
By the time I reached the bridge, the snow was making familiar landmarks fade into a white blur. Even the river disappeared into the thickening blind of white. I walked over to the town bandstand and sat on a bench in the center of it, thinking I might take a few pictures, but realizing it would be futile. The falling snow was simply too thick.
As I climbed the mountain back to my house, I noticed that my bootprints from descending the mountain were long gone. The trek to and from the bridge is one mile. As I neared the the halfway point, I had to make the decision of whether to climb the steep slope under tree branches burdened by inches of ice and snow or take the longer path up the center of the road.
I chose the shorter, yet harder and more dangerous path under the trees. My jacket was beginning to become crusted with snow and ice itself and as I walked under the trees, I could hear small and  sharp cracking sounds overhead. I moved faster up the slope and within ten minutes I was home.
Now, five hours later, the snow still falls. The house is quiet except for the occasional snore of the boxer and Rob’s footsteps upstairs as he prepares for bed. I’m getting ready to go back to the book I left behind last Saturday. Ending it will not be an easy task, but I rarely choose the easier path. Sometimes, the steeper climb is the better choice.

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