As a teacher, I struggle each winter to determine who really anticipates snow days more – the teachers or the children? I almost think it is a toss up.
The gas ignites in a puff below the steel pot and immediately illuminates the stainless base with a copper hued glow as it slowly begins its work in warming the chilled milk. A splintered wooden spoon rests across the opening and steam slowly begins to rise in gentle tufts like smoke from a chimney. My children are outside, immersed in games with their father, but the echoes of excitement make their way indoors where the warmth of the fire and stove are beckoning their return. They are bundled and bounding down the front yard that has been savaged with countless inches of snow since dawn, flakes continuing to drift, as they glide down on shiny red coasters. Standing in the doorway, the cold gray weather permeates the glass of the front door, forming frost on the inside that is smeared with the dampened nose of the cat, as he sits watching, unable to make a claim to venture out. He meows in response to the jubilant cries of the kids, restless that this time, he is excluded. I am ready to tear off the soon dampened layers of snow pants and snow boots, sweaters and mittens, before they make their trail of winter’s glitter across the front hall.
For now, I’m content to see the glee in their faces, noses running to their chapped lips, icy rosy cheeks, eyes chestnut bright under densely knitted caps, until they are ready to sit on my lap near the fire for hot chocolate with frothy marshmallows and mile high whipped cream lapping the sides of the mug. Until then, I have time to paint.
Some of my best paintings are done on snow days. I can easily start and put it aside when needed. I am positive that no one on earth savors a snow day as I do. Below are some of the pictures of stacks of waiting paintings and finished pieces. Spring weather this weekend, but you know I am wishing for plummeting temperatures and Jack Frost.