Recollections of the Last Solstice

Guest Blogger: Mimi Colson Leaning
(Writing about her sister Tara and winter break while a heat wave hits the northeast).

You would think winter break would consist of heaping piles of snow mounted at your front door, long car trips to white-capped mountains, and snowmen.  Lots of snowmen.  Unfortunately, we started our winter break six months ago with 50 degree weather, sunny days and no need for winter jackets.

We drove to Maine with the hope that maybe we’d encounter something cold.  A few days before Christmas, we were rewarded with small crystalline snowflakes floating lethargically down from the cloud-painted sky.  My sister Tara was ecstatic.  She had been complaining about the weather for the last week and I thought I’d never hear the end of it.

“Mom, look!  It’s snowing!”

My mom nodded and pulled her sweater closer around her.  She was the only one who had been enjoying the warm weather.

By mid-afternoon, the snow was still coming down and there was a thin white blanket covering the ground.  Tara had been waiting for just the right moment to bundle herself up in the much-missed snow gear, endure fussing from my grandma before heading out with the intention of building a snowman.  I hardly paid attention as I was content to spend my snowy days reading, inside, ignoring the weather.  My mom and I agree, that’s the best way to enjoy winter.

About half an hour later, Tara tramped back inside, tracking snow throughout the house as she scavenged for buttons for her nearly finished snowman.  As a final touch, she borrowed grandpa’s Santa hat that had his name printed on the front, along with his gray scarf.  She said she didn’t want her snowman to get cold.  All of us watched from the kitchen window as she placed her props on the snowman and stood back to grin proudly at her handiwork.

Unfortunately, the sun had other plans.  A day later, the snowman was leaning awkwardly to one side on grass that was only sparsely covered with snow.  Tara ran outside to fix it, pushing her snowman upright but still fretting that it would melt away.

They were lucky, they got a reprieve on Christmas.  It snowed once again, extending her snowman’s short life long enough for both of them to enjoy the winter holiday.

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About HomenDunRoamin

Teaching Artist & Writer: fiction, poetry & nonfiction. Recently completed work: a hybrid memoir. In progress: a novel set in an unnamed Latin American country on the brink of war. The book examines violent and nonviolent resistance and the choices women are forced to make to survive.
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One Response to Recollections of the Last Solstice

  1. friedmin says:

    Wonderful post, Mimi! So beautifully written I could feel the warmth and the snowflakes!

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