Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Not the TV show - me.

My friends always have the latest gadgets that they can’t seem to live without and everyone I know touts their car Satellite GPS navigations systems as lifesavers. Not to be high maintenance, but after last week that is just, quite frankly, not enough for me. If I can’t have my own personal navigator (note: translate that to my husband!) willing to stay glued to a cell phone answering it at my beck and call, then I am jus not going to drive anymore.

When man first roamed the earth, travelers found their way by using the stars and sun to guide their journeys. During ancient times they used land markings such as Mountains shaped like eagles or rivers with three forks to mark the route. Later travelers got their directions through listening to stories told by brave explorers around the campfire and scratching notes on bark. Maps actually came into existence in early Greek times with the first ones made of clay, progressing onto paper rolls, to the fold up maps of today.

In the 21st Century man has gotten increasingly sophisticated with satellite technology, GPS tracking, and talking navigation systems and such – none of which I can use.

Just as it is certain the sun will come up tomorrow or that Winter follows Fall or that two plus two always equals four it is also certain that if there is chance of choosing the wrong way while driving to a location it can be certain that I will choose it.

I have spent a good portion of my life wandering around in the state of being lost. I am convinced that this is not my fault. It is a genetic flaw, passed on to me by my mother and father which is, in itself, quite ironic since my Dad spent his whole adult life traveling all over the world. You see, my parents ran a travel agency which ,in it’s hey day, planned thousands of trips all over the world for people to all types of destinations. All of which required some sort of attention to geographic orientation.

To illustrate. I can not remember one single childhood trip – even the ones we took twice a year to the Beach in Port Aransas, Texas where we even stayed in the same condominium year after year – that did not involve at least one major episode of getting lost. Actually, I can’t remember a single vacation anywhere that did not involve major map hysteria - with my father screaming at my mother or my mother lecturing my dad while the four of us just sat in the back holding in our pee, because there was NO way Daddy was going to stop now; we had already been lost once and were behind schedule.

Then there was the case of our weekly Junior High carpool. My friend, Julie Little, was in my carpool for several years and every single week on my Mom’s carpool day, she would say “Now girls, be on the lookout so I don’t miss Julie’s house this time... Which house is it?” And about half the time she would have already driven by it. Sadly, I seem to be carrying on the tradition, I pass Jackson's house at least half the time I am driving carpool and he always has to say "It's here Mrs. Collins."

As I said, I don’t blame my parents. Based on the number of family stories I have heard about my grandparents on both sides, it is obviously not Momma and Daddy's fault. This affliction was clearly passed onto them through some sort of defective genetic line. First let’s examine my mother’s ancestors – the Hopkins. According to my mother and her sisters, my Grandmother (who coincidentally is named Irene like both my mother and me) was quite well known for her traveling exploits throughout South Texas.

I often heard them tell the story about the time my Grandmother wanted to treat my mother and her two sisters to a shopping trip to San Antonio. Because my Grandfather, Dr. Joe, was a physician in the town of Victoria, he often had emergency patients and on this particular day he had to cancel the trip to see a patient. Rather than wait for Dr. Joe, my Grandmother decided to drive the girls herself. This was in the early 1940’s, and while women were driving independently by then, it was not a very common sight to see women driving on the highway out of town. And certainly not alone with three children.

I can just picture them. Gran in her best dress, gloves and hat - she was big on hats. My mother and her sisters dressed in their finest, climbing into the black Plymouth Sedan (I have no idea if this was their car, but it looks like it should have been!); starting out from their home on Lantana street and going through Victoria to the edge of town and heading out toward the highway to go South in the direction of San Antonio. The only problem was that apparently Gran had never actually driven there by herself and did not have a map to consult, because since she could not actually read one, she saw no need to own one!

The first thing she did was to stop at Mr. Murphy’s’ gas station at the edge of town to ask him how to get to San Antonio. The story gets a bit murky here, but according to family lore, the directions should have been fairly simple. Just take a left out onto the highway and follow Gonzalez Street (or US 87-N) to the loop around and then get on I35 South which goes straight to San Antonio. Alas, due to that pesky genetic way finding deficiency, it was not to be. There was something about a map and some words exchanged about south and then east. But apparently Gran never confessed to Mr. Murphy that she did not have a map (because she couldn’t read one) and also never told him that she was not sure which way was south!

The next thing that is remembered is that there was some commotion over whether or not they were actually going the right way and my Grandmother very smartly announced that she did not know why anyone was worried, “I’m just following that man in the black car in front of us.” When the girls asked her why, she said, and I am quoting here, “he looks like he would be going to San Antonio.” About two hours later when the man stopped at a diner in Hallettsville it became apparent that this nice man was not going to San Antonio and another plan of mapping must have been implemented. I am not quite sure if they ever did get to San Antonio that day, but I do know that the day went down in Hopkins History as “The time Momma followed that man all the way to Hallettsville thinking he was going to San Antonio.”

Now I don’t want to leave my Dad’s genes out of this line of blame since there is also very clear evidence that his Family Tree was also defective. Growing up in the South Texas town of Harlingen, my father’s parents, who we called Nana and Da, lived very genteel lives and often had a driver to take them where they needed to go. I do know that my grandfather, Winston Harwood (who my father, brother and son are named after), also never owned a road map. Why should he, when he couldn’t read one either?

Who knows how far back this thing goes? For all I know, instead of being a proud fifth generation Texan, maybe I was supposed to be a fifth generation Michiganite or something. My great, great, great, great grandfather might have intended to head off for a totally different climate only to end up in Texas with his wife screaming at him "Pa, I TOLD you to stop and ask that Indian for directions." And to save face, he tells her "Dag nabbit womman! YOU'RE the one that told me to turn left at the prarie."

How the State of Texas ever allowed these two grossly deficient, genetically disadvantaged people to marry, much less reproduce, is beyond me. But the result is certainly evident today. Three out of the four Harwood children my parents produced exhibit some form of this debilitating and life limiting affliction. My oldest sister, my brother, and I all have had to live with the results of being “directionally challenged," My youngest sister, Lucy, can read a map and she never lets us forget it.

Luckily for my children, I think I may have broken this multiple generations long curse. My husband, Kent, is blessed with an extraordinary inner compass. In fact, I use him as a kind of extended personalized GPS, calling him regularly to ask him which way is east or asking him to tell me how to get to 12th. Street or wherever else it is that I need to know how to get to.

It doesn’t matter that often he is not even in the same city or that since he can’t actually see me, how could he be expected to know which way is east - I still expect him to be my own personal map. And, I must say, that over the years he has been trained to keep the incredulity out of his voice as he patiently asks me to explain exactly what I see in front of me as I scream “I don't know, why would I call you to ask if I knew that? Don’t’ tell me to go EAST, just tell me to go right or left or turn around, but don't say east. How in the hell do I know which way east is?”

I can still remember the time early on in our marriage, when we were living in Los Angeles, that I called him crying from a pay phone (yes, we HAVE been married that long) telling him that I knew I was in our neighborhood because I could see the top of our apartment building, but I had been driving around for 30 minutes and still could not find our street. He kept telling me to go South on Ventura Boulevard and I kept yelling at him which way was South - to the right or the left? - and he kept patiently telling me that since he was not with me he couldn’t say which way to turn. Finally, he had a flash of brilliance and told me to look for the mountains. “Do you see mountains? Head for the mountains.” I eventually made it home but not before I had made at least three stops to different convenience stores and used up about a quarter of a tank of gas. And to this day, I wonder if he was literally telling me to head for the mountains...

Just the other day, my son reported to me through the phone as I was talking to his father (during one of my multiple, frantic emergency phone calls to his Dad to ask for yet a fourth repetition of how to get somewhere that I had been before. Anyway, he reported that, “Daddy is rolling his eyes and snorting.” Quite frankly, I think this is unnecessarily cruel, and insulting. I mean after all, I can’t help it. I am handicapped. He could show a little compassion here.

If I tallied up the hours, possibly days, I have spent being lost I am sure I could add a few extra months onto my life. I know that if I factored in the toll that the stress of driving by the same landmark for the third or fourth time in a row and still not finding my destination has taken on me, I would add another a year or two to my life.

Not to mention my poor children. If only they had a dollar for every time they heard me shriek “Quiet! Not one word. Mommy is LOST. I have to figure out where we are.” Or “What did that sign say? Is that South?" Or “Didn’t we just pass by this place a few minutes ago?” Poor guys they always sounded so serious as they would ask, “Are you lost AGAIN? “ Or “Mommy are we going to be late to the birthday party? I thought you said you KNEW where Blakely’s house was.”

Again, let me remind you. This. Is. Not. My. Fault.

I totally blame my parents. The stories of their travel travails are legendary. I bet they got lost in every major city in the world. As I said, I still can’t believe that they made their living planning out travel itineraries for people when neither one of them could read a map to save their lives.

So, sorry Kent, but you are going to have to remain my own personal Mapquest; available at all times, regardless of whether you are running on Lady Bird Lake, or in the middle of a business negotiation or sleeping. I'm directionally challenged. Or Map deficient. Or have Maplexia, or you can call me a Special Needs Direction Way Finder. Whatever you want to call it, it's really not my fault. Blame it on the progenitors. (That's ancestors in the direct line or your forefathers for those of you who might need to go look that word up.)

Maybe there might be some advantage to this. I am wondering if I could get a 504 for my directional issues and be declared as having an official disability? Maybe get SSI money, or my picture with President Obama, or at the very least get put at the front of the line at Disney World?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm Sorry. It's all my fault.

Why is it that no matter what happens it’s my fault? Here’s what happened tonight. Kent took Tye to buy a new flat screen TV for the third floor. They spent like 4 hours at the store picking them out (that’s another whole story in itself) and they came home and got in the elevator to take the TV and set it up. They had been up there for a while when I decided to go and see what they were up to.

First thing when I got up there, Tye says “Mom this is so gross, we just found a roach,” like I have something to do with that? Then Kent pipes in “if we are going to make this space useable, you have a lot of stuff to get rid of.” I look around. Yes, there is a lot of junk up there, but half of it is HIS! I guess that is my fault too.

So then I go downstairs to get them a cord they needed and when I got back to get in the elevator it was broken. I tried for about 10 minutes to fix it and even got shocked from flipping that little switch thing! All the while Kent and Tye are yelling instructions down the elevator shaft at me. Like it is my fault the thing is broken?

Picture me a the first floor elevator screaming up the shaft and Kent and Tye on the third floor yelling down at me. The conversation went like this:
Me: Honey. The elevator is broken. It keeps going up and down.
Kent: What do you mean? Did you try punching another button?
Me: No, I can’t. It’s broken, I can’t get in.
Kent: Why not?
Me: Because it is broken, you d&%$a&*!
Tye: What did you do to it?
Me: Ummm nothing? I just went down to get you your cord and when I tried to get back in it started doing this.

It kind of went on like this for a few minutes until Kent tells me to turn it off at the switch and how to do it. I did exactly as he told me. Then he told me to turn it back on. All that happened was I got a big shock and it just started doing the same thing again.
Kent: Reenie, what the *&#@ did you do? I told you to turn it off and then turn it back on.
Me: I did.
Tye: Then why isn’t it working?

Well the reason it isn’t working is I guess is the reason it broke in the first place - because it was my fault! More instructions and cusswords were yelled down the elevator shaft at me until I finally said I was going up to the second floor to use the emergency exit stairs in our closet.

On my way up the stairs our phone starts ringing. I answer the phone it is Tye on the other end.
Tye: What is taking you so long, Mom?
Me: Umm, I had to stop and answer the phone? Let me hang up so I can get you out.
First I have to clear off a bunch of stuff off the floor because I have not finished finding space for all our stuff and I have kind of been shoving stuff in that closet. Of course, Kent is quick to point that out. Now he is yelling at me through the emergency stairs.
Kent: I bet you can’t even get the stairs down there is so much junk in there.
Me: Well it’s my closet and I wasn’t planning on rescuing anyone from the third floor so I’m sorry I did not have everything perfectly arranged like my OCD husband has his closet.
Kent: Hurry up.

So I pull that string thing and try to get those stairs to come down. All I can do is get them down about 15 inches and then it is just stuck.
Me: Kent, this is stuck, come and push it down.
Tye: Come on Mom! You are just weak. Pull it.
Kent: No. It is not stuck.
Me: Yes it is.
Kent: OMG. What did you do to the stairs?
Me: Umm, nothing? I just tried to pull them down to let you guys out and they are stuck.
Kent: No they are not.
Me: Yes . They. Are.
Tye: Well pull harder.
Me: I AM
Kent: What did you do?
Me: You are so rude. I’m just going to leave you up there.

About this time, I take a few minutes to post their predicament on Facebook and contemplate calling my brother-in-law, Phil, who lives just down the street to come over and help, but they are so rude I decide not to.

While I am posting on Facebook, Winston gets home from the game.
Me: Winston, come up here and help me! Your Dad and Tye are stuck on the third floor and the elevator is broken.
Winston: No it’s not. You just don’t know how to use it.
Me: Well then you try.
Winston: (after turning back on the power and discovering that indeed it is broken) What did you do to it? It wasn’t broken this afternoon.
Me: Look, just come upstairs and help me get the stairs down. I’ll call the elevator guy in the morning.
Winston: OMG, Mom! Can’t you even get the stairs down by yourself?

It was about here that the phone began ringing again and Tye is calling to ask me what is taking so long. I tell him we are coming right up and Winston will help me. Next Winston announces he can’t come right away because he has to go to the bathroom. During the next five minutes while he was doing his business, I continued to try and help.
Me: Kent, these stairs are broken.
Kent: No they are not.
Me: Yes they are, see? I am pulling this thing and it is stuck.
Kent: (peering through the attic door) All you have to do is pull it to the side. It’s not broken.
Me: I AM and it is too broken.
Kent: It’s because your closet is too messy it won’t come down. There’s no room for it.
Me: It is not! *@#! I haven’t even pulled them out more than 15 inches so it’s not the stuff on the floor of the closet, it is not even close to it and it won’t come down.
Kent: Just pull harder.
Me: $*#!@!! Winston! Get in here now. I don’t care whether you are finished or not.

So…Winston comes in and guess what? My six foot, one inch, 190 pound football player can’t get the stairs down either!
Winston: Dad! It’s broken.
Kent: It is not! All you have to do is pull it. Your Mom wasn’t doing it right.
Winston: Guess what Dad? I can’t do it either.
Kent: Yes, you can. Just pull it. Don’t be an idiot.

I immediately take offense to this because I feel that he is implying that I am an idiot because I can’t get it open and that Winston will surely be able to pull them down because, unlike his mother, it is not his fault that the stairs won’t work. It is his idiot mother’s fault. There’s a little more cussing going on (well actually a lot more) and Winston finally gets the stairs all the way down. And guess what? Tye and Kent stay up there for about another HOUR before they come down. What’s up with that? What was all the rush?

The kicker is that when Kent and Tye finally got down the stairs, Kent turns to me and says, “Do you think the elevator is broken because you did not push the buttons all the way in or something? It worked for us.”

I don’t even bother to answer, because I am pretty sure nothing good will come from continuing this conversation…

Thursday, July 28, 2011

And they loaded up the car and moved to Beverly...

Now that we are officially moved into our new house, I have begun to worry that the neighborhood might not be as excited about us moving in as we are about moving there. I don’t know why, but lately I have repeated thoughts about The Beverly Hillbillys. And scenes from National Lampoon's Family Vacation keep running through my head. I just don't know if they are quite ready for us.

Ok, first of all Kent already got rid of my chickens when we put our house on the market. For some strange reason he felt that no one would want to buy a house that had chicken shit all over the back porch. And now he went and sold my chicken house on Craig’s List! To think that I can never again have chickens wandering in my back door to fly up on the kitchen table or to look out my back window and see Stoli, our black Pomerianian, trying to mate with a chicken (true, I swear) or to hear Kent yelling at me about it. Like I could do anything about it anyway – I’m not responsible for my dog’s poor sexual preferences. Well, that just makes me sad. See there is a picture of the custom designed chicken house I built with my own hands. Or at least with the hands of my Handy Man, Eduardo.

That right there is bad enough, but I understand. Because our new Hood has something called an HOA that has rules and stuff. And you gotta follow the rules. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to bend the rules whenever I can, but my husband is a rule follower and he has already gleefully informed me that we can’t have chickens at the new house, which I am sure my new neighbors will appreciate. Although I must say my old neighbors were always gracious and never really complained – they just called me to tell me my chicken was on their front porch and things like that.

I also wonder about how the new Block is going to adjust to the noise level? The few times I have been over there, the street has been fairly sedate and quiet. And not once did I ever hear anyone screaming in their back yard that they were going to "take a stick and poke you in the kidney and kill you ten times” which has often been heard coming from my back yard. Nor did I see any signs of property destruction such as a disassembled front door or BB gun targets on back fences or even bikes and scooters left in the middle of the street. And I know I did not see a child sitting on the roof threatening to run away if they did not get {insert something ridiculously expensive or dangerous here}.

I’m also pretty sure that none of these neighbors has ever had to get out of the shower and go in search of the boy they heard crying for help only to find a certain neighbor’s front door unlocked, a certain Mom not home, with her son locked in the downstairs bathroom which had a broken door that had gone unfixed for some six months who was stuck in one of those tiny bathroom windows - half in and half out - because he tried to crawl out said tiny bathroom window because he had stupidly shut the bathroom door that he knew was broken (it had been for six months!) when he was all by himself. For that matter, why did he need to shut the door anyway, who would have been there to see him?. But that is another story…

Somehow wherever we go, there always seems to be a bit of commotion. I sure hope that doesn’t bother my new neighbors. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t do anything about those darn kids of ours. They just keep on showing up and usually with a few friends or pets in tow. And speaking of commotion, there is the toilet papering, that long standing favorite of mini-hoodlums everywhere. I really hope none of them are nervous about things that go bump in the night, because we do seem to get a lot of hoopla going on at all hours. But I am sure they will be glad to know that at least I do what I can to save our planet. After being papered, I immediately go outside and start picking up the toilet paper and shake it out and try to save it for use later. I am never one to miss a chance to help the environment and save a few cents at the same time. It’s so easy to just gently wrap it up into little bundles and put them in a nice basket by your potty…no one will ever know and most think it is some sort of new decorating idea. Yep, I really have done that too.

The bad thing is that the new house has a roof top walk and several balconies,as well as a set of fire escape stairs coming out of the master bedroom window. All of these egress points are potential problems. I have threatened my children with slow torture and sure death if there is ever any drinking, smoking or cussing that goes on while they are on them… or nudity…or any projectiles being thrown from them. But hey, I can’t be expected to watch them 24/7. I have a life too, you know.

I haven’t gone through the neighbors garbage yet (not to imply that this is something I regularly do even though it wouldn’t be unheard of), but I suspect that their trashcans will be full of recycling, and organic vegetable scraps and wine bottles with actual corks instead of screw tops. God forbid one of them peeks in ours to see the Oreo packages, Mountain Dew bottles, Vienna sausage cans, Pizza Hut boxes and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos packages – all of which are the snacks of choice at our house.

I do think we have the right dog though– our Black Lab should fit in well with the requisite hunting dogs. But what about the 3 pound yappy Chihuahua…or the ancient miniature Poodle with the bad teeth, or the slightly mentally challenged black Pomerianian who pees on people’s legs when they come to visit? (See chicken incident mentioned above.) And, I won’t even mention the various and sundry other pets that seem to end up at our house. Lawns are nicely manicured and seem to be well kept, which is good because I like a nice yard too. I can’t wait until I put up my 4 foot metal chicken I got from the Mexican guy on the side of 2222 along with our Kips Big Boy Head.

All that to say, I really hope my new neighbors like me.

I always have a cup of sugar they can borrow, I am handy in a crisis (lot’s of experience there), I make a mean Mojito and rarely fall down drunk in the front yard.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Thoughts on Snow Days

I got a little nostalgic today as I woke to one of our rare Texas Snow Days and my 11 and 13 year-old sons were already outside sledding dangerously down the hills without parental supervision, and my 16 year-old daughter called in tears to say that she slid the car into someone else, and then my husband yelled that a pipe burst at our house… It seemed fitting to re-post what I wrote four years ago when my children were still small (12, 9 and 7 years old) and those days were REALLY special.

Snow in Austin, Texas is almost unheard of and as lifelong Texans my children have only seen snow a few times. So on February 24, 2007 when I was awakened by my middle son, Winston, shouting “Snow everybody. No School. Snow Day! Snow Day!” I knew it was going to be a great day. We all got up and went downstairs to a world covered with white and full of the sparkle and hush that snow brings to every surface of our world. This was going to be one of those memory days that Gloria Gaither talks about, something we could all look back on and recall with a smile. “Remember that year in Austin when it snowed and you all got to stay home from school and we...”

Request number one. “Mom, can you make us all hot chocolate? Not the instant kind, but the real kind?” “Of course, I sweetly replied,” and just as I was pulling out the ingredients for the cocoa and homemade sweet rolls, I heard a voice calling from the other room. Request number two. “Mom! Can you light a fire?” “Mom, we NEEEEED a fire, right now.” As I was going into the den to start the fire, I heard shouts from upstairs. Request number three. “Mom! Where are my gloves? Winston stole my gloves. Make him give them back.” “I can’t go outside without my gloves. I won’t wear the Spiderman gloves those are for babies….” And so the perfect snow day begins.

Ok, friends. Here’s the deal. I know for sure that I will NOT survive any type of nuclear or bio-warfare attack where our family has to hole up inside our home or some other type of confined “safe” place for any length of time.

We have only been home for the snow day for 24 hours and I have already done about 2,000 loads of wash for children who have cried because they wanted to go outside and needed warm dry clothes, then cried again because the wanted to come inside and take off their wet, cold clothes to put on some new warm clothes, and on again, and off again, and on again, and off again for the clothes rotation. I swear my children have been in layers of clothing that I have never even seen before. I am not sure which is worse, having children crying because I say they can not go outside again or crying because when they do go outside and then come back inside again they are too cold and their hands hurt. My washer and dryer has been going non-stop almost all day.

Then there is the matter of the 30 or so individual dishes that I have had to pick up today from unique places such as the bathtub, behind the computer, underneath the bean bag chair and from virtually every flat surface in my playroom and den (AND THAT DOES NOT COUNT the meal dishes from our three “regular” meals). I have run my dishwasher 3 times today and it was full each time. NO LIE.

Next I can tell you about the number of times I have screamed at the top of my lungs “Take off your wet shoes and leave them by the door!” Or “Hang up those wet coats; don’t just throw them on the floor.” I am not sure, but I think those words must be coming out of my mouth in some sort of foreign language because not once today has anyone actually listened to them and understood them.

Then there is the small matter of our pets…. Yes, I am sure many of you have worried about our chickens (as well as our three dogs, one cat, chinchilla, and guinea pig) but don’t worry, I made a little space for them right beside my husband’s side of the bed because he loves them so! Ha!

Actually, it is quite hilarious to see chickens strutting around in the snow – they don’t seem to mind and our chicken coop is heated and protected from the wind so that is ok. The only problem is my having to venture out in the cold several times a day to make sure their food and water is not frozen. And, as for the rest of our four-legged family members, they have had a wonderful day all warm and cozy by the fireplace. But, did you know that dogs don’t like to get their paws wet from the ice and so try to do their business inside where you can’t find it? In fact, mine are so smart that I can put them outside for an hour and they will wait until they come back inside where it is more comfortable!!

One of my favorite things about all being at home for such an extended period of time is the joy I find in relaxing in my home. With three children at home and a variety of neighborhood kids coming through the house, it is just a wee bit untidy….. but I have just been sitting around eating chocolate and reading books while these kids have dutifully picked up and put away every game they have taken out, every book they have looked at, every video (about 3,796 - I know. I counted. ) they have looked through to find that one special one they have not seen since last year, every crayon they have taken out and used in drawing snow day pictures, and every toy they have pulled out to play with because “I’m BORED Mom, there is NOTHING to do!”.

Last, but not least there is the minor issue of bickering among my children. Mind, you I say bickering because my sweet little darlings rarely ever fight and it is 9:30 p.m. and since they are all still breathing and all seem to be in full possession of their limbs, I am sure the screaming and yelling I heard at various times today came from some of the neighbor children. Mine get along so well.

Oh yea,and did I mention that my husband went to work today right away, first thing?He is such a good provider for our family and we are so grateful that he works so hard! Come to think of it, he was awfully anxious to go and seemed determined to get there even if he had to hike………

Seriously, it is so wonderful to remember the JOY of being a child and being granted the wonderful miracle of a perfect snow day! I can still remember my first snow day in Austin, around 1969 or 1970 where we spent the whole day rolling down the hill at Tarry Town United Methodist Church and sneaking around the grounds of the Catholic Convent at the corner of Exposition and Westover because they were still pristine and no on had walked around on them yet. Then walking back up Exposition to Holiday House to drink Hot Chocolate and eat French fries.

It remains in my memory as a “perfect day” almost 45 years later and I hope my children will also treasure their memories of that one perfect snow day or of any other special day that I can help them create. And those are my thoughts on snow days.