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Posts Tagged ‘winter weather’

Snow Day

Yesterday, January 12, winter dipped her icy fingers into the South, and we saw our first snow of the season here in middle Tennessee. Franklin received barely an inch, but it was preceded by sleet, so roads and streets were slick and treacherous. Schools closed, and everyone who did not need to get out stayed hunkered down, warm and safe in their homes.

Back in the summer of 1960, Robin and I moved from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Denver, Colorado. We wanted to live outside the South for a while to experience a snowy winter season. And did we ever!

It was the middle of October when I looked out my second grade classroom’s windows and saw gentle white flakes floating down. I was calling out spelling words, while my little students took their weekly test.

I’d better not say anything about the snow, I thought, or they’ll get all excited and lose concentration. I remembered the year before how my students in Louisiana had reacted at first snowfall.

“It’s snowing, it’s snowing!” They ran to the windows, hugged each other, and jumped up and down. I felt like jumping up and down with them. Soon, we’d all get to go home.

Now, I tried to stay calm, averted my eyes from the windows, and called the next word.

Too late. One of the youngsters looked up. “Oh, no! It’s snowing!”

A collective groan spread across the room. “I rode my bike,” one said, shaking his head.

By the time June rolled around, I could understand their reaction much better. That winter we experienced many large snowfalls, and the schools never closed. We drove between huge banks of the stuff, piled on the sides of the streets, and life’s normal activities continued. Even on the last day of school, remnants of dirty snow lay along the curbs. The only “summer” we had was in July and August. By September, the air had turned chilly again.

Today, though, I will nestle happily here in my cozy nest and enjoy viewing our beautiful “powdered sugar” landscape while I can. Monday’s highs will be back above freezing.

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Seems like there’s more litter than usual out on our Hot Springs Village roadsides now. Must be the winter weather that’s keeping our faithful volunteers inside and unable to pick up all those cans and bottles that others have carelessly tossed.

Today I thought about a little essay I wrote soon after I retired. It was published in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal way back in 1996. I hope you will enjoy this!

Streetwalker Job Isn’t That Glamorous

Madelyn F. Young

My life as a “street-walker” began several years ago. Now that I’m retired from my regular job, I have even more time to devote to this hobby. And no matter what some of you may think, I believe that what I do is a real service for the community. I wish a lot more of us women could do this!

Once a week or so, I don my special garb—garden gloves, insect repellant, old Keds—and toting a large trash bag, I start my rounds. The “pick-ups” I make are interesting. Beer cans, soft drink bottles, fast-food wrappers and cartons. Quite a variety!

Of course, there are a few health hazards which a woman in this occupation needs to be aware of. One time on our road I was stretching out to reach a can positioned down a steep bank, and I lost my balance. Face-first I sprawled awkwardly down the hill into the weeds with one foot tangled in the vines above me. Ridiculous! Nevertheless, I grabbed that can, tossed it up onto the road, and then performed an inchworm maneuver to scoot backwards up the bank. Later, I discovered I had a full-blown case of poison ivy for all my efforts. But such is the life of a “woman-of-the-streets”!

I’ll have to admit that the pay for my services is not too great. However, seeing clean, litter-free roadsides near my home is a good reward. Maybe someday soon, before I’m too old to “perform” any longer, drivers will learn to keep their throw-away items in their cars and trucks until they get home. Then I could be a “street-walker” who is able to take a stroll and merely enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery all around.

 

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