’twas 1978, early morn on the eve of all Eves, snow came crashing in waves of big fat flakes that blasted our dingy urban world in a blanket of white wintry innocence. As I recall decades later, with nostalgic-tinted glasses, the mundane neighborhood landscape seemed to turn magical as I looked out the fogged-up windows and saw this dream scene. Within minutes I was bundled up head to toe in a half dozen layers of clothes leaving only my eyes and nose exposed. A merry mummy I be as me and my friends ran out to greet this blizzardy scene.
Before the cold could catch us, we got to making and stock piling and strategically placing snowballs for future battles with neighborhood bullies—or cars that happened to venture down our avenue—whichever came first. Then we played a few rounds of King of the Hill on the biggest mound of the fluffy stuff we could find. Sponsored unbeknownst to the city snow plow trucks. This was followed by writing our names in the snow in the only way boys (of all ages) know. We “found” sleds made of garbage can lids, on loan from the cranky neighbor’s house down the block. We made snow forts and chutes we swore would last to Spring. We sketched off the bumpers of cars passing by, letting go moments before they saw us and horrified, slammed their brakes.
Oh the joys of being an eight-year-old boy set free to roam the dream wintry scenes from a fresh fallen snow. But as always happens to things too good to be true, the sun was dipping westward fast. Our child shadows loomed large and long over the yards of trampled-upon snow. Numb fingers. Frigid toes. Runny nose long ago frozen over. All signs said ’twas time to go home. As the sun set and white turned to blue-gray, we said our farewells and slid our ways back to our prospective stoops where we ran up the stairs, stripped down the wet layers, traded them for some dry flannels and treated ourselves to hot chocolate, with marshmallows, always.