Snow Falling on Anchor Road

Every single memory of snow in my childhood is pleasant. Sparkling flakes in luminous free-fall as I look out the kitchen window. Snow festooning evergreen boughs. Then bundling up in snowsuits, knitted caps, mittens. Getting out the sleds.

After more than one snowstorm, Aunt Ruthie grabbed her movie camera and trained her sharp eye on some big, tall sledders who went coasting down the hill from our house to Grandma Longenecker’s.

Then she captured our anticipation of trumping through nearly hip-high snow and finally (my favorite) Mother pulling my sister Janice and I on the Flexible Flyer sled along Anchor Road.


Another parent and daughter are observing the snow in The First Snowfall by American poet James Russell Lowell, a poem I remember Mother reciting.

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Mabel marvels at the beauty of the snow and inquires of its origin . . .

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. . . but as the father’s replies to Mabel, he remembers the snow which hides the scar of another child’s burial plot.

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Then Mabel feels her father’s gentle kiss, a kiss she will never know was intended for the daughter beyond his touch. The last stanza leaves Mabel in child-like wonder, her father in pensive grief.

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This post began with snapshots of fun in the snow and ended with a reflection on loss. But snow can be the setting for other memorable events: a frolic with friends, a car accident, a marriage proposal (I’ll save that for another post!)

You probably have memories of snow, recent or long ago. Here’s your chance to share them.

What’s Red at Christmastime?

Color psychologists say red represents energy, passion, and motivation to act. Red is everywhere this season: Santa’s costume, cranberry dishes, poinsettias.

I’m seeing red too. In Ian’s Santa cap at the Orchestra Zoo . . .

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In Mother’s cranberry fruit salad recipe which I took to a Christmas party at a friend’s house last week . . .

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Ruth L_Moms Cranberry reci copy

(Everything with the word Mom in it is my scribbling. The rest is in her own handwriting, a keepsake in my recipe box.)

Beautiful pots of poinsettias!

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One more thing read at Christmas, the beautiful Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20Luke2

What can you add to the red – or to the read in your tradition? The conversation starts here. 

Coming next: Short and Sweet: A Belgian Christmas Card

Happy Birthday, Will!

News Flash!

ShakesBirthdayCrown

To mark Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, “the Royal Shakespeare Company is spearheading a three year Jubilee, between 2014 and 2016, that will involve theatre performances, events and live streaming cinema around the world.”

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Florida State College students: Of course they're discussing Shakespeare!
Florida State College students: Of course they’re discussing Shakespeare!

It’s April 23 in my college class of English Lit students. Each has brought in a can of Coke, Dr. Pepper or bottled water. I bring cupcakes—chocolate and vanilla for the party.

Reputedly, April 23, 1564 is the birthday of William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon. It is also the date of his death in 1616, but we are celebrating his life, especially the writing of his gushy love sonnets (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”) and his play, King Lear, which we have just read with all that fussing about a father’s will, sister sniping, revenge and murder. The body count is always high in Shakespeare’s tragedies.

A fixture at every birthday party, Shakespeare wore a bow today.
A fixture at every birthday party, Shakespeare wears a bow today.

Until I was out of high school, I did not realize that my Mennonite Mom was referring to Shakespeare’s line “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another” (Hamlet) when she chided me for wearing makeup. “I’m happy with the face God gave me,” she would retort.

And Grandma Longenecker probably wasn’t aware she was quoting from Midsummer NIght’s Dream either when she tried to comfort me with the words of Lysander: “The course of true love never did run smooth” over my break-up with David, a boyfriend in college. And of various presidents, Truman, Eisenhower, or Kennedy, she would quote from Shakespeare’s Henry IV: “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” I can still hear her cracking the “C” in crown.

Other quotes you may know: 

  • Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
  • If music be the food of love, play on.
  • Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.
  • No legacy is so rich as honesty.
  • What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
  • O, had I but followed the arts!
  • ‘Tis better to bear the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of.
  • With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
  • This above all; to thine own self be true.

What special sayings do you remember from your childhood?

 

What quotes by Shakespeare can you add to the list?

I love it when you comment!

Please check it out: My writer friend, Traci Carver, teacher at Valwood School, a college prep high school in Valdosta, GA, posted on her blog a creative classroom scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet featuring foam pool noodles and Twitter hashtags. Creative and memorable!