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So I’ve been snowed in all day today, going out into the subzero weather every four hours or so to shovel away snow drifts from up against the door. I learned my lesson from the last time I was lazy and got iced in as the snow melted against the warmth of the door and I couldn’t get out.

Even so, I have always loved loved loved a good snowstorm. My friends all think I am crazy and perhaps I am. Perhaps it is still the child in me who remembers praying for the weatherman to say no school in our area so we could stay up all night with a game of Monopoly or Sorry or Scrabble or work on that 10,000 piece puzzle we all took a turn at on the coffee table or go from apartment to apartment in our building until each mamma kicked us all out and we was stuck sitting on the cold steps for getting on they nerves.

Those simple pleasures of a ghetto childhood that is so much taken for granted in the Playstation and Internet age. Six kids without enough gloves or boots so you put your feet in whatever size was at the door and made snowballs with a couple pair of socks on your hands staying outside til you couldn’t even feel your own skin anymore.

God forbid that a child wants to go out in the cold today or some over protective parent not find every excuse to not let them just go out there and live like we used to live. Like when the street trash would block the drain and the summer rain would flood the street and we would all go out there more than ankle deep in nuthin but cut off pants that were once highwaters we outgrew and just dance. The pure simplicity of being a broke ass negro.

When snow falls so hard that nobody goes anywhere, a piece of that childhood joy returns. If only for a day, all the expectations and responsibilities of adulthood fall quiet.  That is the magic of a winter day like this that my friends in other places know nothing of. They can only think of cold, and having to drive, and the pressure to show up at work, and what to do with the kids.

When I was married, I was always the biggest kid in the house on days like this- sneaking outside early and making snowballs and throwing them at my kids while they were still in bed  as they would realize the rules of civility had been temporarily lifted and open their windows to get snow off of the window sill and chase me through the house as payback with my wife looking on as if we had all lost our minds.

Then bundling each child to look like the kid on A Christmas Story and pushing them out the door to explore the intricacies of freezing your ass off.  That, my friend is LIVING! And then in the quiet of a frozen evening, enjoying the warm of comfort food snuggled against someone you love even though they always putting their cold freakin feet on you trying to steal your heat, these are the intimate memories that are the building blocks of love that can only be made on a winter day like this. Sometimes, I don’t know who to feel sorrier for-my friends who have no idea what a day like this can be, or for myself and others who, when faced with such a day alone, truly know what we are missing.

-Neo Blaqness