Thursday, December 11, 2008


It snowed today. I love snow. I love that when you look up into the snow it seems that time slow down a bit. Snow makes us focus on the little things. Every needle on every pine tree and every branch of a leafless tree is made more vivid with a dusting of snow. That light blue-grey color the sky turns and that distinct snow smell. Yes, snow has a smell.
Its nostalgic for me. It seemed no matter my grandpa's age, no matter the time of day, he was always right there to help us build that first snowman. With his help it was always the biggest snowman, taller than the time. We'd find things in his shop for his eyes and his mouth, and put a scarf and hat on him and twigs for his arms. The first Christmas after grandpa passed away we all went to Iowa. Christmas had always been in Iowa growing up, but for the past couple of years we'd stayed in Kentucky. This particular Christmas it felt very important that everyone be in Iowa, at home. It had snowed a little, and all the grandkids, even though we were grown, went outside and built a snowman. We made it the best snowman, as big as us, just like grandpa would have made. We found things in the shop for the face, twigs for the arms, and then we found grandpa's old work coat and put that on our snowman too. Grandpa would have been proud.
I think about grandpa all year long. Every now and then a little something will creep up in my day that will remind me of him, a smell, a saying, a laugh, a gruff but friendly voice. But for some reason when the snow is falling at Christmastime, I feel his absence even more. I look up into the sky, watch the snow fall and feel time slow down a bit, if just for a little while.

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