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Snow flurries began to fall early that cold , brisk morning and I, being a near
teen-ager was so happy to see the snow. We youngsters were off from school
for the Christmas holidays and I wanted to see a white Christmas so badly that
year. I had begun to really notice the beauty in each season and I kept hearing ,
"White Christmas"
being played on the radio and that made me yearn for just such an event.

Christmas came and passed without snow but the brisk winter winds were
blowing and I noticed the darkening clouds gathering and thought to myself,
they look like snow clouds forming. I continued doing my outdoor chores
and wrapped my coat a little tighter to keep out the biting wind.

As I finished my chores, I noticed the flurries were becoming larger in size
which told me the snow would soon stop. No beautiful white layer of snow
today, I thought. I went into our living room and noticed all of the gifts
still under the nicely decorated tree but the pretty paper & ribbons were
gone now, our company had gone home, and somehow, I just felt a little sad.
It seemed that all the anticipation had been built so high and now the festive
decorations were not quite as gay looking as before.

I hated the thought of going back to school after the New Year began, for it
seemed such a long span of time between this holiday season & Spring. I kept
wishing it would snow a deep snow so that everything would take on a new look.
Anything would be an improvement with my down hearted attitude.

Darkness came early in our little village and I knew my Dad would soon arrive
home from work and he always looked forward to a hearty, hot meal upon his
arrival. My Step-Mom was taking a nice piece of roast beef out of the oven
and as I watched her stir a little water and flour mixture and add it to the beef
flavored juices left in the pan....I noticed how carefully she stirred to get rid of
any lumps in that mixture that magically became gravy.

Hmmmm, the smell was so delicious you could barely keep from sneaking a taste.
As She whipped potatoes into piles of snow white fluffiness and put a small
dollop of creamy butter in the center of the potatoes and added a little salt
and pepper, it looked like a food advertisement from a magazine.

I had gone to the basement for a quart jar of preserved corn and a pint jar of
preserved applesauce that had been waiting to be enjoyed for months after
being canned. Everything was piping hot as my Dad came up the steps to the kitchen.
One could see the look of hunger turning to a look of anticipation. When our meal
was finished, my Dad stepped outside for a few minutes and upon his returning
inside, he said, "The snow is coming down fast and furious along with some sleet."

I could scarcely believe it, yet running to the door, there it was and within minutes
we heard cars sliding around on the road. By morning we had received 11 inches of
snow with a hard crust on top. I was so delighted with this wonderland that lay so
pristine before me. Trees were coated on one side with snow as if painted that way
and the snow was laying in the crook of the branches just like a Christmas card design.

We heated our home by a coal furnace and a wood stove. Both created lots of ashes
needing to be thrown out. Dressing like someone from Alaska, I grabbed a bucket
in each hand and started to the front of our home where the road started to go
upward on a steep hill. I kept throwing buckets of ashes across the road to help
folks get a better grip with their tires . I continued this for a little over an hour.

My reward was two arms terribly tired and aching, a back that was sore, an empty
crate of ashes and plenty of smiles and waves from grateful folks trying to drive
in that snow.

I learned a valuable lesson that day, the best gifts are the giving of oneself for others
benefit and the rewards are a satisfied mind and heart from knowing you did your best .

Ann Marie Fisher
© November 2007





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