I’m writing now in order to capture a moment I’m currently experiencing.
The office days are dwindling down in my place of business. Two glorious weeks off as we scramble these last two days to get things done, send out client Christmas cards, give and receive little prezzies from our colleagues.
And someone in the pantry of our office has made toast. The golden warm aroma is floating past my nose and it brings me back to snow days.
Toast, coffee, bacon and baking cookies are my favorite smells in the world. They transport me to mornings waking up to the sound of parents in the kitchen, quiet weekends of freedom or, when I became an adult, mornings in an office building in New York City or in Los Angeles where the day begins and so much is ahead.
Even though the lush aroma of toast is hitting me in the middle of a chilly Los Angeles studio office, the smell is the smell of snow days. The sight of thick, fluffy piled high snow mounting up. The thrash of ice flecks ramming into the window with waves of gale forced winds. The cozy warmth of home. The thrill of the local radio or television station announcing school closures.
Sweet hot tea and the gold aroma of toasting bread for breakfast on those mornings. It makes me feel happy, carefree and brings me back to to the moments of putting on snow coats and pants, layered socks, boots, mittens, hats and bound into the fresh cold snow, breaking down a yet un- shoveled path with my legs until I made way to the road, where the plow truck barrel through, creating walls of snow drifts on both sides of the street.
One friend would come out of his house. Then another and another. A pow wow at the foot of my front path, now buried in two feet of snow. Sleds were fetched. Then an organized sleigh ride down the steepest driveway on Wilmoth Avenue would commence. That steepest driveway was my driveway.
Although the snow was high, we’d try to make our way down the winding drive to my backyard. We’d get stuck. With our bodies and legs, we’d pound the snow into a reasonably flat terrain, allowing our sleighs to get through the height.
It took a while. Our finger and toes went numb. We’d park our sleighs in front of my house. The snow would be lightening up by now. Not as windy. We’d break for a hot chocolate in my mother’s kitchen. Then – an hour later, pull on all our snow clothes and head out again for another round.
We’d sleigh one by one down the hill passing underneath the bending feather branches of our weeping willow, weighed down with the weight of snow. We stopped at the bottom where the untouched parameters of snow broke our speed.
After a while, we’d link our sled with our hands and feet, making a human sleigh ride chain. The excitement of creating a human train down the steep drive was like magic, a daisy chain of kids coming together to make a long locomotive.
On and on, the afternoon, as so many like these would, continued. With every turn of the rides, more snow was crushed and beaten down into tight, flat, slippery roadway.
A snow day was like a new project – a job. We Sleigh rode until our fingers grew numb or the white steely grey sky turned clear with blue and then grew into a sunset purples and shades of orange.
And it all started off with the aroma of toast, promising so much on this snow-free day. It takes me back to my home in Ardsley, NY.
Edited for tense.