» Snow Days Dispatches from the Potomac

Words and Images from Ed Felker

Snow Days


Snow at my age is a lot different than it was as a kid, back in the days of getting up early on a snowy morning and staring at the radio, trying to will your school’s name out of the announcer’s mouth. Now, schools may close, but offices almost never do. A commute that gets worse on rainy days becomes nearly impossible in the snow. And as a property owner with many animals both inside the house and out, there are entirely different concerns and responsibilities than I ever imagined as a ten year old. Keeping a mile-long driveway cleared and making sure there is hay for horses and gas for the generator have replaced digging the sled out of the back of the garage as top priorities when the snow comes.

But despite all the grownup things that sometimes get in the way of life’s simple pleasures, something about those early snow days remains. There is an anxious excitement as the forecasts reach consensus: There will be snow. And when the first flakes come, I’m not thinking about generators or traffic or chains on tractor tires. I’m watching and waiting for it to stick, then accumulate, then pile up.

Sometimes you get the perfect snow. We got snow twice in the last three days, and the second of these was perfect. It started before dawn, a gentle, wet snow coating every surface down to the tiniest tree branch with pure, beautiful highlights. It fell quickly and steadily from there, closing schools and offices, including mine. By early afternoon, though it was done. The sun came out and the day warmed. The gift of a snow day is extra special when you can comfortably go out and enjoy it. And enjoy it I did.

My dogs, Team Orange, both love the snow. We had a great afternoon simply playing in it. They never tire of chasing snowballs that magically vanish upon landing, and I never tire of throwing them. We wrestled. I laughed. It was just a glorious afternoon in the perfect snow. These days I often feel my age and then some. My back often aches. My mind often worries. But on this day I truly felt like a kid again. And if that only happens on perfect snow days, I’m okay with it. But next time the forecasts start coming together, I might just stare at the radio for luck.

I hope you enjoy these, my favorite images from these last two snows.








3 Responses

  1. Fantastic post and photos!!! You nailed the sentiment exactly! I really love that first image of just your shadows in the snow.

    December 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm

  2. Glad you got out to enjoy the snow… great shots too. I wish we coulda done a photo walk. Maybe we will just have to get “stuck” out there next storm.

    December 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm

  3. Jerry Schwab

    Beautiful tale, Ed. Sitting here on the doorstep of another Australian summer, this brings some nice memories of wishing for snow in Oregon. I particularly emember the muffled sound and the light? I could sometimes tell it had snowed before I even opened the curtains.

    December 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm

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