I thought I would do a lot of writing. Or some. But instead I’ve shoveled snow, talked to my neighbors. I’ve walked outside and marveled at the world, changed. I’ve played a lot with my daughter and her friends, indoors and out. I’ve gotten to know those girls even better. It snowed on Friday afternoon and night. And Saturday. It snowed. And snowed. Our Saturday afternoon walk looked like this. And with this, I take what is a small step for you digital natives, but a giant leap forward for me. I upload my first photo onto this blog.
our block February 6, 2010 at 4 p.m.
It’s a snow day here. School let out early. I gathered up my daughter and two girls both of whom my daughter and I really like, to spend the afternoon here on this unexpected half day off. I made lunch. We all sat and ate and talked. But other than that, they have games to play and conversations to have, and they are getting along so well, I hardly know what to do with myself. So I sat down to write. But I realized that what I really want is for you to write back.
I want to hear from you. What have you liked (or not)? Things that are on your mind and you’d like me to write about? What do these posts make you think of– about young people, women’s friendships, ending racism, schools, other things? Talk to me.
It snowed here yesterday. Second big snow of this winter, in our city which doesn’t, unlike where I grew up, get much snow at all. Here we can go all year without any snow at all. I miss the snow. A lot.
So I love a day like yesterday when it snowed all day. And like today when you wake up and it is bright, white all around and the snow makes our rooms brighter. Through the closed window I can hear that familiar sound of someone’s shovel crunching through the snow and ice, the drag and scrape along the cement, and the silence while the shovelful is dumped, and then the next crunch and scrape. That first look in the morning, of the neighborhood, covered in snow, and that sound of shoveling– those must be two of my earliest childhood memories. For me that look and that sound are profoundly good and deeply reassuring.
Today is the birthday of my father. He was born in Chicago and if he hadn’t died, almost 7 years ago, he would be 84 today. I miss him terribly sometimes. I always imagine him being born in the middle of a Chicago winter and I imagine the next day being a day like today, white, bright, covered in good snow, but a little bit of a project for his dad to travel through to go back to the hospital where he was born. I imagine what the weather must have been, and what the world looked like when he was first taken outdoors, when they left the hospital and brought him home.
He and I were born in the same hospital on the south side– now known as Obama’s neighborhood. I think that it is possible that the last winter of his life was the only winter of his adult life, when he gave up shoveling snow. He loved that kind of physical labor. So, it is only fitting and right that today, on his birthday, it is clean and white and fresh and cold outside and that soon I will get a sweater and coat and boots and go downstairs and start shoveling. Happy Birthday, Dad.