Friday, January 19, 2024

Snowy Days? A Good Book and Hot Cocoa by Helen Henderson

Fire and Amulet by Helen Henderson
Click the title for purchase information

Thankfully snow is scarce and inches and inches (or feet) don't fall with any regularity in my current neck of the woods. A quick swipe clears the dusting of snow off of cars. With a little sun and warmer temperatures (average temperature for January is 51 degrees F,) the sun melts quickly. Ice storms are a different story. They can close businesses and schools for a week. Wondering why snow is on my mind when the temperature is supposed to be 51? The answer is that for the past week the temperatures have not been normal. Last night it was zero degrees overnight and the high temperature during the day was only 20 degrees F. Any snow the sun melted flash froze overnight.

I thought I would share memories of snow days before we relocated to the so-called "warmer climes" of the south. Although throwing snow onto a pile that towers above your head gets old very quickly. The day went thus.

  • Clear a path from the back door to the cars.
  • Clear the car and get out the step ladder to clear off the business van.
  • Shovel a car width path to where the snowplow went down the street
    (The plow didn't always go curb to curb, but one swipe down the middle.)
  • Remove the huge (several feet tall) frozen pile of snow/ice the snowplow pushed across the driveway. This usually has to be done at least twice. One day I was so tired that when the plow came down the street the fourth time that morning and pushed all the snow into our drive, I stood at the end of the driveway. He moved over and didn't push all the snow into our driveway.
  • Shovel the front steps and create a path from the plowed zone to the mailbox.
  • Clear a path from the street to the elderly neighbors' front door so ambulance and EMS can get in if need be.
  • Drive to the next town and clear parents' sidewalk, steps, driveway and car.
  • Return home and if sun hasn't melted the snow off the slate sidewalk, clear it.
  • Collapse for a few hours with hot cocoa to remove the chill.
  • Cook dinner? I don't think so. There's just enough energy to walk down the block to the local diner. 

Sometimes things change, sometimes not so much. In an earlier part of my life as a newlywed we lived in the Snow Belt of upstate New York,.

  • There was no driving to the next town. Instead there was shoveling snow off the roof.
  • Clearing was not just a short driveway, it was a common road between two houses that went from the main street to the carriage road in back, and the parking area behind the house.
  • Perhaps the worst part was having to remove the car battery each night and bring it into the house. Otherwise it would freeze solid and require hours inside to become functional again.
There was another similarity between life in the two northern climes. After shoveling, eating dinner out. One was the local dinner where you ate dinner with the snow plow drivers and police officers who stopped in while  to get warm and have a break. The other place was the local restaurant and bar.
As a final thought, a retro visit back to 1962.
To all those still living up north or elsewhere who are faced with piles of snow or cold, icy days, think of the warm sunny days of summer, have a hot cocoa, and open a good book. Oh, the book cover at the top of the page shows another way of getting rid of snow. Just ask Trelleir to transform and flame it.

Click on the title to purchase Fire and Amulet.

 ~Until next month, stay safe and read.   Helen

Helen Henderson lives in western Tennessee with her husband. While she doesn’t have any pets in residence at the moment, she often visits a husky who have adopted her as one the pack. Find out more about her and her novels on her BWL author page.


  1. I lived in Philly for two winters, enough to realize that shoveling snow was not for me. On snow days, we could not get to work, schools and even store remained closed. Now, I live in Arizona, near Phoenix, where we just had what we call a cold snap (near freezing temperatures at night, don't laugh). As for snow, it falls in the mountains north of Phoenix, almost never in the valley. And when it rains in Phoenix, which is rare, we rejoice and thank Mother Nature. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ah back when there was snow! Your lovely 1962 photograph brought to mind days as a child in upstate NY. It was like living in a winter desert, with dunes that moved onto roads, and ice on the insides of windows! Nice post--but in western TN you must get ice...far worse than snow!

  3. Oh yes, Snowy weather is a test of patience and strength. No snow in FL but unseasonably cold. I knowy northern friends will give me no sympathy

  4. I've always loved snow! We'd spend hours clearing the 150' driveway and the path to the shop (with a snow-blower). Then we'd end the snow-clearing by sitting in front of the roaring woodstove and enjoying a delightful 'Caesar.' Ah, the memories :)


I have opened up comments once again. The comments are moderated so if you're a spammer you are wasting your time and mine. I will not approve you.

Popular Posts

Books We Love Insider Blog

Blog Archive