The snow covered trees and the white lawn outside, came as a total surprise when I woke up this morning.
“Did you know it was going snow?” I asked Robert.
“No,” he said. “I don’t watch the weather forecast.”
“Did you know?” I asked my husband.
“No, I didn’t,” he said.
I realized that since Andrew died, we’d even stopped checking the weather forecast on channel 61.
Not that it matters, in fact I remember that while watching a weather forecast, my thoughts would often drift and by the end of it, I’d missed the whole thing.
But I do remember the blizzard of ’96. It was our first big snowstorm since moving to the States, actually I don’t think there’s been another one as big as that one, or as much snow for a whole winter.
By the time the storm was done, there were several feet of snow on the ground.
Donning thermal underwear, snow pants and boots, we unglued our noses from the windows and ventured outside. The street had been cleared, and we made for the woods less than a hundred yards from our house.
It was so exciting, none of us had ever seen so much snow before. But the snow was so high that six-year-old Andrew could not walk, it came all the way up to his chest. Laughing, Hugh lifted him up and hoisted him over his shoulders. With baby Robert over my shoulders and Florentina holding on to our hands, we pressed on deeper into the woods and eventually panting and out of breath, came out at the River end, by the train station.
The train tracks were all covered in snow, the River was groaning with what looked like floating icebergs, the children were excited and wide eyed.
“I wish Tommy was here,” Andrew said thinking of his best friend back in London.
“Yes,” said Florentina. “And I wish Clare was here too, we could all build an igloo together.”
When we made it back home, the children cleared the snow from under the table in the breezeway. Scavenging amongst the moving boxes in the basement, they found a big, strong box, perfect for their little house under the table.
Once they’d made themselves comfortable, mummy brought them hot chocolate and cookies.
I can hear them laugh, I can see their rosy cheeks, I remember the happiness, I remember Hugh and I tucking them into their beds at the end of a happy, busy day.
Wasn’t that a nice day Andrew?