We spent a winter in Maine when we were still a family of three: my husband, myself, and our 13-month old son. We spent a winter in Maine when our home was in Florida. I don’t think we saw the earth the entire four months we lived there: it was hiding beneath a thickening batting of snow.
The place we rented was across the street from the beach, and the finger of land we occupied was empty of people. The houses were dark night and day for this was a summer community. While we lived there the snow piled high enough that it reached the icicles dripping down from the vacant houses’ eaves.
We didn’t have a washer and drier in our “cottage,” which is more accurately described as a mobile-home. On laundry day I would pack our baby and our giant mounds of laundry — giant because it was winter and winter clothes are bulky — and I would take us to the laundromat. I struggled every time: what do I do with our baby while I carry the laundry in and out? How do I get around this five-foot snowbank between the car and the sidewalk? I walked many trips, baby in one arm, giant bag of laundry in the the other, to the end of the block where there was a passage in the snow bank, then back up the block to the laundromat where the car and laundromat were side by side with a ridge of snow between them. Each trip that would have taken four steps in summer took at least two minutes in winter.
Which is why Easter was so wonderful. Easter morning, a fresh snow sparkled under an April sun, and after so many weeks indoors, we could not wait to go out and feel sunlight on our faces. We bundled our son till he looked like a red starfish pillow with a face, and we took our brightly dyed Easter eggs out into the pristine, glittering landscape. We “hid” colored eggs in the snow, and they popped like flower buds in the crystal powder, promises of a coming spring.
Photo credit: My mom, Beth Smith. Interestingly, the photos prove my memories wrong (what our son wore, how much snow was on the ground).
For the month of April, I will be publishing a 10-minute free write each day, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Trying to get back into the writing habit.