Monday, January 19, 2009

Walking in the snow

I was walking to the Foreston convenience store yesterday. I was at the auction house, and decided to walk the block and a half.
No one was out and about, Sundays being a slow traffic zone in Foreston. It was after mass, and all the mass go-ers had already driven off, and everyone else was in their homes settling down to breakfast.
As I walked back to the auction house, I was reminded of the winter night I spent with Lynn Sullivan at her house around 42nd and Fremont North in Minneapolis. My Mother had allowed me to go on a 'sleep-over' at Lynn's house. I was attending Patrick Henry, so it was during early high school years.
I don't remember the downstairs, but Lynn's bedroom was on the second floor at the front of this huge, square brick house on Fremont Avenue. Her bedroom was 'half' of the upstairs. It was marvelous.
It was when I was trying to find what they call now a 'forever-friend'. As with most sleep-overs, neither one of us could settle down and sleep. So we ended up sitting on the window seat looking out her front windows onto Fremont Avenue. Fremont Avenue is a bus route straight to downtown Minneapolis, that enviable 50's 'Mall of America' shopping district.
It was snowing, the street lights were on and the whole world outside her window was bathed in a comforting golden light. No one was about, with the exception of an occasional car and bus, and we were the only kids to view this beautiful, quiet snowy night from that great vantage point of a second story window. Her house was also 'up' from the street level, their lawn included a 5-7 foot bank of grass, so it was quite a height with the ground height and the two story house.
There were no night plows in the late 50's. Everyone semed to have had a day job in the city works department. They got up very early to move the snow around, but I rather like the idea of men manning those plows during the night as we sleep, as we have them now. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe there are no night shifts to move the snow. It doesn't matter, as I have this beautiful memory of Lynn and I in the cocoon of a heavy snowfall outside her window. I don't remember her Mom or Dad, I do remember she had a brother, and that is where this memory ends.
Just that 'after midnight' coziness of two early teen-aged girls whispering in a sleep-quieted house, exchanging giggles, dreams, talking about our communal friends, our hopes and wishes for our futures.
I remember that experience with great fondness. Lynn and I never really connected as that 'Best Friends Forever', but we enjoyed a wonderful, after midnight view of a quiet, snowy city street.
Sunday's walk in the snow was just as fulfilling, even though the walk was solitary. There were big, fat, lazy snowflakes drifting down, and the quiet was marvelously comforting. I found myself walking slower to enjoy this quiet, 'private' time.
When the shop was going, just as we were going in to bed around 2 or 3 in the morning, Bobby and I would often walk out to the middle of the road, before 'people' moved into our quiet, isolated neighborhood. On winter nights, we could faintly hear the traffic on hwy 169. It was a quiet cocoon. An occasional farm dog bark, but rarely anything else. On foggy nights, the cotton-wrapped night was even more special.
It is one of the memories I had to log.
"Memories lost are memories not written down."
Once in a while I will be in a situation that will dredge up a long-forgotten memory that I had truly forgotten.
Yesterday's softly falling snow brought up this one. I hope you enjoyed my word-pictures as much as I have in bringing it up to 'write it down'.

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