I am a girl in Pennsylvania winter. I am a barrel of brown-headed energy. There is no bottom to the barrel I am. Snow makes everything new. Watch: I can make a snow angel. This is the closest I will ever come to being an angel; I already know. I have a snowsuit: slick, tarpish overalls--blue and pink--with a matching coat. My mother has a snowsuit just like mine, except brown. She's beautiful, my mother. Her brown hair curls out from underneath her boggan hat. Her eyes laugh and laugh. She knows how to crochet and crocheted our scarves. She knows how to do everything. She's a fast sledder, and she can iceskate in circles like Dorothy Hamill. We all have our own iceskates, and--when we want to use them--all we have to do is walk next door to Grandad Shafer's pond. Grandad drives his tractor right out onto the ice to push away the snow; he isn't scared of his tractor falling into the pond. He isn't scared of anything, and neither is my dad. My dad killed a black bear, once, in Maine. It was really big, and its skull sits on top of Dad's gun cabinet, and its fur hangs on our wall. That proves how brave my dad is: very brave. Extremely. We might iceskate tonight, and--if we do--I hope Grandad builds a bonfire on the bank. I hope my little brother waits a long time to whine about being cold: at least until I can't feel my toes, anymore. And, after we skate, I hope my mother boils milk on the woodstove and makes hot chocolate.
Yesterday, my brother and I built burrows in the walls of plowed snow in our driveway. We both like playing Rabbits but have to take turns about with Snowball Wars and Fairy Cave. I don't like Snowball Wars; snowballs burn when they hit, and someone ends up crying every time. Usually my brother. I moreso like looking for fairies (which my brother thinks is stupid) at the opening to the underground stream, where icicles hang. I just love icicles; don't you? Our biggest ones hang off the roof of our red barn. In the mouth, they're like pointy popsicles with no taste.
Maybe it will take awhile for the snow to melt, this time. I feel bad for the snowmen when their heads shrink to the size of eggs and their rock eyes fall out. And I think winter is the very best season: better than all the other seasons put together, really, even if you're not counting Christmas, which of course is the very, very best holiday...
|The Yard of Our Farm in Pennsylvania|
|A Snowman Friend and Me. These pictures precede most of my memories of self but capture, perfectly, my memories of Pennsylvania winter landscape.|