“Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” Dean Martin 1966

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Did you know that the song “Let it Snow!” was written and composed during a HEAT WAVE in July of 1945? It was not written as a Christmas song, though it successfully evolved into one as radio stations began playing it, and artists such as Dean Martin and Tony Bennett (not the good looking UVA coach!) began performing it during the Christmas season.

“What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” John Steinbeck

So did it snow in your area last weekend? It did here in Charlottesville. Forecast was for 6-12 inches, but thankfully we ended up with around 5 inches. Still, church services were cancelled, kids’ sporting events were cancelled, our clubs opened late and closed early, and of course, school was cancelled. But I had to work – our auditor was in from Chicago all weekend. We discovered over the years (worked with him for 13+ years) that we can get more accomplished working on the weekend without the interruptions of a normal work day. Only problem this weekend was finding a place within walking distance open for lunch due to the snow! Which of course he found hilarious as nothing shuts down in Chicago with only 5 inches of snow. We found ONE restaurant open and trekked to the downtown mall for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Same place, same good food.

The thing about snow is that it is so peaceful and beautiful when it is falling. And the air feels so right – clean and crisp. Now don’t get me wrong, I prefer summer’s heat and humidity any time, but I do enjoy a beautiful snow. And I mostly love a snow on the weekend when I don’t have to work or worry about driving in it. I mean, I totaled one car last summer (driving it into a flooded roadway), I have no plans to total another driving it in the snow! Luckily our auditor is from Chicago where driving in snow is nothing!

“A lot of people like snow. I find it an unnecessary freezing of water.” Carl Reiner

The city and county, as well as our neighborhood management team, were prepared for this snow, having brined and salted the roads early. Came home Friday evening to an orange stick on either side of my driveway, and every other driveway in my neighborhood. Found it was to mark the edges of my driveway in case we got the 10+ inches forecasted, as my HOA is responsible for scraping our roads and clearing our driveways and sidewalks. Prepared. Unlike the state and counties in December 2009, when snow turned what normally is a 4-hour trip from Chapel Hill into a 17+ hour car ride for my son (coming home from Freshman year for Christmas) and me. Luckily I had filled up my gas tank and gotten my son a HUGE late lunch before leaving Chapel Hill, because for once in my life, I had no food in my car! I was not prepared – planned to be home in time for dinner, picking up a pizza on our way into town, but arrived home at 7:15 am the following morning.

“I prefer my footprints in the sand, not the snow.”

Remember the big snows when you were a kid? I remember some huge snows, but were they so big because we were so little? Or were they really big snows? When it snowed, my dad would put chains on our tires. (Yes, I am dating myself here but with a blog titled SOLO at SIXTY, there is no secret to my age!) The school buses ran with the big chains on their tires as well. And I remember how bad it was with the chains on the tires once the roads were partially cleared – such a rough ride. YIKES! Also, if it snowed during the week and schools were closed, we had to go to school the following SATURDAY. Imagine that! But I also remember my mom making the best snow cream. Of course you could NEVER use the first snow as it was “tainted” according to mom (first snow cleared the pollution out of the air!) and never use any yellow snow (duh), so we waited anxiously for that 2nd big snow. And the sledding… we had a flexible flyer and would put paraffin wax on the runners to make it go faster. Our street was basically a big hill that was great for sledding. The whole neighborhood would meet at the top and everyone sledded together, piling on top of each other on sleds. My mom always worried about us crashing and chipping our teeth! Not breaking bones, just teeth. “Make sure you close your mouth going down the hill!” Which no one did because we were screaming and laughing the whole way down. I never broke any teeth, neither did my sisters.

“Look for what’s good, what’s right, what’s beautiful. . .and that’s what you’ll see more of!”

By the way, last week my younger daughter and I watched the International Space Station fly overhead after an early morning cycle class. The sky was clear, the sun had not yet risen, and it was really cool to stand there looking at the sky marveling that there were people on the ISS and we were watching them fly by. Also marveling that my daughter who is NOT a morning person had already taken a class with me and was standing outside at 7 am. Life is good.

“For one minute walk outside, stand there, in silence, look up at the sky, and contemplate how amazing life is.”

And yes I am taking care of my knee… cycle is allowed. Just no running… which means more trips to Short Pump to take my older daughter’s cycle class, which we did last Thursday!

Looking forward to this weekend! Just hoping the “S” word does not interfere with my fun plans! And I noticed that the orange sticks are still marking the driveways….uh-oh, what does that mean?

I have my mom’s old clock on the wall in my office surrounded by photos of my family. I found myself looking at that clock and those old photos last Friday as I prepared for the weekend of work and snow, and found myself thinking about mom, and thought to myself that as those seconds and minutes ticked away, they were lost. Gone forever. Realized how important life is every minute of every day. So this week, take time each day to marvel at something amazing in life, and be thankful for every minute, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

Best,

Leslie

 

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