Thank you for your patience and enjoy your present. I hope it suits your tastes in some way. I wanted to bring what it was like growing up where I live and I hope I could do at least some of that Michigan Snow Day magic.
Click. “It’s Wednesday December 14th and we have great news for all you kiddo’s out there. It’s a Snow Day! That’s right all area schools have closed for the day due to the winter storm that blew through late last night, and with all that fresh powder there’s nothing to do but enjoy it!”
Bleary eyed no longer Rose sat strait up in bed, her auburn hair sticking every which way she ran to her window throwing open the curtains to the blinding blue sky and snow dusted country side. Jumping up and down in joy she let out a bright giggle, her bare feet hammered down the stairs and into the kitchen where her mother was making pancakes with a smile.
Turning towards her daughter, Rose’s mother smiled holding a spatula up like a trophy. “Happy Snow Day, dear!”
Smiling from ear to ear the green eyed girl rocked back and forth on her heels. “Happy Snow Day, Mommy.” Leaning up on her tippy toes she peeked over the high kitchen island to a waiting stack of pancakes. “Are those snowman pancakes?” The girl said with a gasp.
Her mother laughed, “Of course! Nothing but the best on a snow day.”
Taking her seat at the kitchen table Rose poured herself a tall glass of orange juice while her younger brother Caesar sat in his booster seat coloring. The young boy’s blue eyes didn’t even look up at his older sister while she hummed a happy tune, their mother placing plates before her children with a smile.
“Here you kids go. Snowman Breakfast!”
Rose looked down at the plate with barely contained glee. Snowman’s Breakfast was a rare occasion and was only ever served on Snow Days. Usually when her daddy was home, but since he was away in Brazil studying some new kind of blue and white geko, her Mom would fill in where she could. That included the great tradition of Snowman Breakfast! A bulging snowman shaped pancake sat atop a fluffy bed of scrambled egg snow, chocolate chips taking the place of his eyes and a large upturned smile. His arms, two strips of bacon and to top him off a whipped cream scarf.
Beside her Caesar wrinkled his nose. “Awe, Mom. Really?” Although Caesar was only three he stressed that he was ready to be a grown up and didn’t need to do baby things. Though he sat coloring just a moment before he stressed that because Daddy drew and colored then it must be okay. “Snowman pancakes are for babies.”
“Well, I like them,” said Rose. Her hand reaching for the syrup.
“Cause you’re a baby!” Caesar exclaimed pointing at her with a syrup drooling fork.
“That’s enough!” Their mother echoed from the stove top. “Caesar eat your breakfast and leave your sister alone.”
Caesar stuck his tongue out at his sister one last time for good measure to which Rose scrunched her nose in displeasure. “I can’t wait to go sledding today!” Rose exclaimed between bites of her breakfast. “And build a snow man, and have a snowball fight, and build snow forts, and go sledding!”
“You said that already dear.” Her mother said with a light laugh in her voice.
“Are you going to get Teddy and Ice to go with you?”
Rose thought for a moment. Teddy and Ice were two of the neighbor boys she’d grown up playing with. The three of them worked well together as a group and often spent their snow days together. But Ice missed school yesterday, Teddy had told her he wasn’t feeling too well. “I think Ice is sick.” She pouted, that would mean Teddy likely would stay inside all day reading.
“Oh that’s terrible.”
“Yeah.” Rose lamented. “I can have fun on my own though. I’ll go to me and Daddy’s sledding hill, that will be fun.” She slid from her chair getting caught up in the moment.
“Finish breakfast young lady!”
Sheepishly, she slunk back to the table. Gobbling down the rest of her breakfast in record time she dashed from the table with a loud, “Done!”
Once upstairs Rose abandoned her flannel ducky pajamas for her thermal underwear, jeans and a long sleeve shirt under a sweat shirt. Anxiously she glanced out the window, it looked like a lot of snow. The tire swing out back was barely brushing against the white blanket, maybe knee deep. Tucking her pant legs into a pair of wool socks, just like her daddy had shown her a long time ago, she pulled on her snow pants and ran back down stairs. Her mother was preparing Cesar for the same sort of activity when she came into the coat room.
Yanking her boots on and stuffing her arms into her green coat, Rose was careful to get all of her snow gear on before she went out the door. Pulling her hat down her pigtail braids stuck out from under the brown hat. “I’m going to the sledding hill Mom. Love you!” She shouted behind her as she ran out the door snatching up the bright red sled her daddy had bought her before he left for Brazil.
Outside, everything was quiet. There was always something special about a snow day, an urgency that made it so you couldn’t waste a single moment of it. Daddy always said it was Snow Day magic. Her breath puffed in front of her face, Rose smiled. It was a hike through the woods to the sledding hill she enjoyed with her daddy every year. It was their secret spot, nobody else knew about it and it had the smoothest ride with no trees to dodge.
Pushing her way through the knee deep snow wasn’t that hard. It was decent packing snow, so maybe later she could call Teddy and Ice and they all could have a snow ball fight, if Ice was feeling up to it.
As Rose got closer to the sledding hill she could hear voices. Coming up on the hill she saw two figures, both in dark jackets standing with an assortment of sleds. What was going on? Nobody knew about this hill accept her and daddy. The snow crunched under her feet as she drew closer to the two figures. It was two boys she’d never seen before, they were talking and pointing at the sleds and then down the hill. She stopped a few feet away. “Hello,” she said almost confused.
Both boys turned and looked at her. They were both about the same height and looked to be about her age. One with a darker complexion wore a bright red coat, his black hair stuck out from under a gray cable knit hat. He smiled at her, his bright blue eyes shining a little. He seemed nice; the other boy though was glaring at her. His dark blue coat was zipped to the top, a matching cap was drawn down around his ears and a orange scarf stuck out from the top of his coat. His cloths didn’t really match but he had such light blue eyes it made Rose blink in confusion a couple of times.
“Hi.” The boy in the red coat said taking a step forward towards her. “Your school get called off too?”
Rose nodded, holding her sled in front of her like a shield. “I come here to sled with my daddy.” Her voice was almost quiet. “I didn’t think anyone knew about this hill accept us. How’d you find it?” She’d never seen these boys before, maybe they were new neighbors. Her mother had talked to Teddy’s mom about someone moving into the house on the other side of the creek in the past few weeks. Maybe these boys lived there.
“How stupid.” The other boy scoffed, snapping Rose back to the moment. “It’s a hill in the middle of the woods. On private property! Do you even know if you’re trespassing or not?”
Rose blinked a couple of times, as far as she knew her family owned this hill and much of what was around it, not the house near the creek. “Uh.”
“Just what I thought.” He said again taking a step towards her. “Why don’t you just go, we won’t tell about you trespassing if you leave.”
Very slowly Rose felt her eyes starting to water.
“Cleatus.” The other boy growled. “We don’t even know who owns this hill.”
“Neither does she!” Steel colored eyes turned to her critically, Rose suddenly felt very, very small. “Look at her. She doesn’t look like she has a brain cell one! Even her hair looks stupid. Pig tails? Really, how old are you four?”
A tear or two spilled over, the cold winter air chilling it’s path over her cheek.
“Good job Cleatus. You made her cry now.”
“It’s not my fault!”
“You’re so mean!” Rose shrieked, throwing her sled down at her feet. That seemed to startle both boys for the moment even though more tears spilled down her cheeks. Rose was always what her daddy called a ‘fire cracker’ she was upset but tears always came no matter if she was sad or angry. She always cried when she was angry. “I don’t even know you and you’re being so mean to me! I’m not the one trespassing, you are! I just got here and you want me to leave? You… you.. stupid rude boy!”
Reaching down she formed a snow ball in her gloved hands quickly and chucked it at the boy. It would have smacked him in the chest if he didn’t block it with his arm. “Hey!”
“Telling me to leave!” She chucked another.
“Saying I’m the one trespassing!” And another.
“Using me and daddy’s hill!” And another.
“Stop it, okay!” He shouted his arms blocking her snowballed assault. “I’m sorry, okay. I didn’t mean to make you cry. I’m sorry.”
Rose stopped for a moment looking at the boy catching her breath. His cheeks were red with either cold or embarrassment but he seemed surprised by her impromptu one-sided snowball fight. Her eyes darted to a sled behind him then back to his scowling face, a devious plot formed. With an ear to ear smile she darted towards him and with a mighty shove pushed him backwards onto the sled. Cleatus’s arms flailed as he toppled backwards, landing on the sled and promptly sailing down the enormous hill. He shouted the entire way down, until he came to a stop at the bottom.
From the top of the hill Rose waved at him. “Apology accepted!” She turned her attentions to the other boy standing beside her. He was pointing and laughing at his friend at the bottom.
Grabbing her sled she prepared to embark on the same sort of journey. “By the way, I’m Rose. Friends?” She extended her hand towards the boy.
He promptly took it shaking it heartily. “I’m Noah and absolutely.”
It was late, the sky had already begun to turn from it’s lovely bright blue to a dusky pink and orange of sunset. Rose laid in the snow exhausted. The three of them had spent the entire afternoon playing together. After his trip down the hill Cleatus had come around when Rose let him win at a snowball fight. Their day was spent seeing who could build the best snowman, Cleatus. Who could sled the farthest down the hill, Rose, and currently who could build the best fort. Noah was winning hand over fist, his fort looked like an igloo made by the Eskimos. He was busy putting the finishing touches on his snow fort when the snow crunched beside Rose’s head.
Cleatus plopped down beside her with a heavy thud. “Hey I wanted to tell you I really am sorry. You know for making you cry.” Rose turned her head and stared at him, he stammered and turned the same color as the sky for a moment. “Don’t… don’t get any ideas! I mean I’m sorry but I’m not sorry enough to make it…Your hair… it’s not….” He let out an exasperated sigh and looked away from her biting his bottom lip. “It’s not stupid.”
She sat up and he flinched. “I’m not going to throw a snowball at you.” Rose smirked.
Cleatus laughed. “Hey with you I’ll never know.”
“Cleatus!” Noah shouted at him from inside the Igloo. “I’m going to head back home now are you coming?”
“Yeah.” Standing up, Cleatus reached down offering Rose his hand and helped the girl stand. “Look it was…nice…meeting you that is.” He paused as if he was looking for the right words to say. “I had fun.”
“Me too.” Rose said. “I’ll see you around?”
Reaching out quickly, Rose hugged the awkward boy and kissed him on the cheek. Cleatus’s entire face flamed red, his hand going to his cheek so quickly the smack echoed in the woods. He looked like he was about to say something when Rose snatched up her sled and took off running back towards her home, turning and shouting at the two boys. “I’ll see you guys again soon! Come by my house sometime!”
“I won’t if you do stuff like that!” Cleatus shouted back at her his hand covering his cheek.
Noah’s laughter echoed through the trees after Cleatus exclaimed rather loudly, “She kissed me!”
That evening Rose sat on her bed in her flannel pajamas with bears. She had an unbelievable amount of fun today and with her two new neighbors. Inside she hoped she’d see them again really soon. Quickly she concluded that today was the best snow day ever! After all she’d just made two brand new friends for life!
Twenty years later.
“You remember the first day we met?”
“Ha! How could I forget.”
“You made me cry then too.”
“Just ask me already will you?”
“I’m not going to ask you if you’re expecting it!”
“The answer is going to be yes no matter what.”
“Don’t spoil the surprise!”
Her laughter echoed for a moment.
“I’m not going to ask you!”
She was quiet for a long moment and smiled up at him, his face was just as pink as it had been that first day. “The answer is yes Cleatus. Yes I will marry you.”
Glancing at her out of the corner of his eye, he couldn’t help but add, “Your hair doesn’t look stupid.”
For the next fifty years of their marriage it would be the only statement none of their family would understand, accept for them.