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Spared

December 12, 2011

We have had a first snow in Ohio, although luckily for me, the only remnant is a few wisps of white on a shady bench on the deck.  I drove to Akron in swirling flakes on Friday night–for a chess tournament–and felt very lucky that it wasn’t sticking to the road. When I see snow, I want to stay inside and sing what my kids call the date rape song (since Walker’s voice has dropped two octaves since last Christmas, I also enjoy hearing them decide who is singing which part using the line from Stage Beauty: “okay. I’m the woman. You’re the man.”)

The only time I like snow is on December 24 after dark, until dark on the 25th. But there is something amazing about the first snow of the season.

Spared

Ice has come to claim the barnyard. This pig, spared
the fall slaughter, peers out from a bed of straw, crude

opening cut in the barn’s side. Pampered to what end
is anybody’s guess. For now she watches the first snow,

remembers cottonwood trees by the river, downy-white billowing
in early summer, her own mother pushing her away from teats.

At this she jerks her snout from snow, cold killing any regret,
simply happy the world still holds surprises.

From The Least of These, by Todd Davis
–After Jamie Wyeth’s “Winter Pig” (1975)

Has it snowed yet where you live?

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    December 12, 2011 10:33 am

    No, thank goodness. For a couple of years, it would snow (a dusting) on Dusty’s birthday party. Which, of course, the children loved and it got them out of the house. But so far so good this year. We don’t usually get serious snow, if at all, until Jan and Feb. I’d be happy with none, frankly.

    • December 13, 2011 7:39 am

      Here, we sometimes get snowflakes as early as Halloween and as late as Walker’s birthday in late March.

  2. December 12, 2011 11:38 am

    We live in southern Arizona. So no. But the last two winters we got snow each year — about an inch last year, maybe 2 the year before. Everyone got all crazy and excited, and roads shut down and people got out of school early to play in the snow. Oh the joys of life in the desert!

    • December 13, 2011 7:39 am

      That’s how it was where I grew up–if we got an inch of snow, school was canceled, everyone went crazy, and it was melted by the next day.

  3. December 12, 2011 6:31 pm

    LOL on the date rape song. I knew just which song you meant, too. (But I still love that song–can’t help it.)

    • December 13, 2011 7:40 am

      We like the song, too. It’s the teenagers’ joke on political correctness to call it that. They actually sing it a lot.

  4. December 12, 2011 6:40 pm

    I read a defense of the date rape song somewhere recently, though I can’t remember where. The gist was that there’s not really something in her drink, she’s just saying that as an excuse to make it socially acceptable for her to stay which is what she wants to do anyway.

    It snowed in New York for one very weird day in October, but now I need it to hold off until early January. I am petrified that it’s going to blizzard the snow down the day before I’m supposed to go home to Louisiana and that I’ll be stuck in the airport TRAPPED and not able to get home in time for Christmas.

    • December 13, 2011 7:58 am

      I mounted a defense of the song, but once the doubt is planted, it’s hard for the young’uns to see it in the same innocent way again. This is why some parents work so hard to shelter their children. It’s to keep their own illusions.

      Your fear of snow in New York is one that I have here–anytime I need to get somewhere, there’s a chance the weather will foil me. It does add some excitement and uncertainty to life (she said, trying to do what the Monty Python song suggests and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life).

  5. December 13, 2011 6:59 am

    We had snow last week too. Just enough to look pretty, not enough to have to do any real work to move it around. There is something magic about the first snow.

    • December 13, 2011 7:59 am

      I have gotten northern enough to agree that there is. I like living in a place where it snows. I like it until about the end of December. Then I don’t like it anymore.

  6. December 13, 2011 5:28 pm

    I feel for Walker and his two-octave drop.

    • December 14, 2011 10:38 am

      oh, he’s had fun with it. For a while there, he had a vacant spot in his range, and then he had no falsetto, but he’s learning to control all the new bells and whistles now. Seems like he’s going to be a baritone but he has three good octaves and part of a fourth in his range.

  7. December 14, 2011 9:07 pm

    We had a few odd flakes on October but it never really turned into anything … despite my son’s fervent wishes!

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