The snow is no joke here in Maryland. I’m sure my cousins in Erie, Buffalo, Denver and Chicago are laughing at us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m from Southwestern Pennsylvania and love the beauty of snow, but when the newscasters tell you to stay off the roads so the trucks can plow and it’s a weekend, why on earth are the main roads so terrible three days later. This area is so ill-equipped to handle large volumes of snow and it looks like we’ll be crippled another 3-4 days as another storm is heading our way. I feel for those without power and heat, at least I’m at home warm and comfortable.
My sister did a post on her Facebook page about her childhood memories of snow and I keep thinking about it. As a child I have nothing but fun and happy memories about snowfalls. My husband remarked yesterday while we were digging out the driveway to imagine it being just as cold, but dark and there being a ceiling height of no more than 5 feet tall above us and that being our daily job…working in the coal mines. Boy did that image jolt me. I was sore and tired but wouldn’t quit, my ancestors who moved away from family in Virginia, all to work in the mines of Pennsylvania in hopes of a better life inspired me. How could I complain about light fluffy snow and the bright sunshine (I did get sun burned) when my grandfathers and great grandfathers worked in filthy coal mines deep beneath the earth doing back-breaking work and jeopardizing their health each and every day for what I spend on coffee.
I spent the next two hours re-living aloud the days I spent with my grandfather…a man who showed me nothing but love. I was fortunate to live with him during the summers and in his two-bedroom house with my family for over a year. I watched him work different shifts and prep for work every single day and I never ever saw a speck of coal dust on him. To this day I’ve never met a cleaner man…I can still smell the Noxzema on his skin and the Listerine on his breath (he could swish that mouthwash in his mouth for at least a half hour). I don’t think I’ll ever look at snow and a shovel the same way again.
Later on in the evening, one of my neighbors remarked about my wonderful memories, as everyone could hear me talking to my husband because of the stillness of our winter wonderland right here in Bowie, Maryland.