We were only supposed to get a dusting, but some time in the night between eleven and four, it swirled in and piled up — at least an inch of white, wet snow. It’s a whipped cream day in Williamson County!
Every snowfall, I remember a big snow in the late 90s and my Southern husband who had lived in the North and knew how to drive in it and a trip home from West Tennessee.
It had started to snow when we were in Huntingdon visiting Charlie’s mother. We drove back to Franklin in it, and it wasn’t flakes. It was like silent blades of snow hitting the windshield. By dusk we were outside Nashville. We usually turned off the interstate west of town and followed McCrory Lane south, making our way to Sneed Road — that beautiful country drive through horse farms and million-dollar houses.
It was dark. Sneed Road was closed because of too-deep snow.
I’m always the scared one. “What’re we going to do? We’ll have to go back.”
“I’m going down Sneed Road anyway,” Charlie said. “It’s more dangerous to backtrack and find another route.”
He pulled around the barricade. I was tense, every muscle tightened, and in a panic mode.
He had no fear. Here was a man who had lived in Pittsburgh for twenty years, wore a long leather coat (which I still have) and wool scarf, and knew what he was doing.
Then…he turned the headlights off.
“What? What’re you doin’?” I pressed my feet into the floorboard like I had two brakes down there and could stop us from going on into the night, into the drifts.
He laughed. “It’s okay. We can see better without the lights. The snow makes its own light.”
He was right. The whole world around us was white, and we watched snow hit the windshield without the glare and harshness of manufactured light, and we could see just fine. It was beautiful. It was like a sleigh ride through the countryside.
Quiet. Soft. Peaceful. I will never forget.
Next month there will be a few days warm enough that I can take off the boots and put on the Chacos. I live for those days. Apparently, others do, too, because people in the neighborhood are out walking, cleaning the deck, working in the yard, and jogging. All we need is a little sunshine and some 50s, and we find ourselves thinking it’s an early spring, or hoping that one will show up.
Reality always comes down, though, because those icy winds will blow again. And we haven’t really had a good snow yet.
My daffodils always prove this out. Like me, they are always eager, coming out with the first yellow day of the year, rising toward the warmth. Once they’re up and their bonny yellow heads are peering around, clouds come slithering in and dump a little snow.
For now, I’m out in it.
Resolutions. That’s what I’m talking about. Do I need them?
Last year’s first of January blog said, “I need resolutions. With them, I know I am making progress. If in the end, I don’t reach the top of the ladder, it’s okay. I’m at least halfway or three-fourths of the way up. And that is good.”
I kept my resolutions from last year. 1. Walk every day or at least five days a week. 2. Keep better financial records. (Not great, but better than the year before.)
But I had no goal on my list for 2014. Nothing I planned to accomplish. And so I guess I didn’t accomplish anything. Is that okay?
I think so.
2014 was a good year. I did lots of stuff. I worked hard and played hard. I took time to walk in the neighborhood and explore and enjoy nature. I kayaked and hiked.
I traveled some — went to five states: Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Nevada, and Arizona…and many towns in those states. I went to Las Vegas and Area 51 and the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam and rafted on Lake Powell, went down Route 66, visited the Hopi and Navajo Reservations, toured the slot canyons, bought jewelry in Sedona, and went up the mountain to Jerome and bought a silver and turquoise bracelet and ate a hamburger.
I went home to the Delta. And the thing that made that so wonderful was that I went with family. We’re scattered and it’s hard to get everybody together. But we did. Both my sons (North Carolina and Florida), my sister and niece (Memphis), and my twin grandchildren. We went to Cleveland, visited Mom and Dad at North Cleveland Cemetery on North Bayou, drove by the old house and the barber shop, went to Delta State and found Mama and Dad’s brick under the clock tower and bought Okra shirts at the bookstore.
TurnStyle was successful in 2014. I had good solid work and enjoyed my clients and their writing. In the technical aspect of my writing, I was one of two Americans to work on an international book project, now published. (Oh, so, hey, I did publish something in 2014!)
And with my personal writing, I took my new book on the road to my home state for a signing, I spoke about it at GriefShare groups, and I made appearances at local bookstores, festivals, and art crawls. And, drum roll, the big thing was that I was on a panel at the Southern Festival of Books.
Both my sons got their “dream” jobs in 2014 (and well, a day or two after the end of the year). One is back in school to climb the ladder a bit further.
My dog turned sixteen in 2014 and is still hanging in with quality of life. She perseveres even though she has congestive heart disease, cataracts, deafness, and spinal degeneration that will make her a paraplegic. I’ve built ramps, put down throw rugs so she won’t slip on the hardwoods, and installed solar lamps to light the back yard in the evenings if she needs to go out.
Yes. 2014 was a great year. And I did accomplish a thing or two.
I’ll take a little more in 2015, if it’s not too much to ask. More of a slow appreciation of the world around me. More spiritual growth. More intellectual reflection. Maybe do an oil painting. Maybe work on my back yard until it is absolutely perfect. And I want my William Faulkner irises to bloom this year. And as for my writing, I just want to enjoy putting words together. Beautiful, definitive, descriptive words. Right now that sounds good. And fun and fulfilling.
I want peace and friendship and laughter. And Comfort and Joy, like the name of my favorite Tom Clark gnomes, above.