I love the 52 Weeks Challenge! One prompt a week to answer, and discover lots of other authors. This week prompt was What do you do on snow days? And here’s my answer.
The trouble I have with this post is that I live in South Florida. You can tell, no snow days down here.
To answer to the prompt, then, I’m going to have to rely on what I used to do on snow days when I still lived in Italy. Northwest Italy, to be precise, which means lots of snow. Olympic Winter Games 2006, anybody? Yep, those were my mountains.
And based on that experience, I have to say it all comes down to what day of the week is snowy.
Saturday or Sunday? Let the fun begin.
We’d go out for a long walk with Mac, my Westie. I lived in the countryside, where long walks meant having fun in the nearby forest “hunting” small game in the knee-deep snow. We never, not once, got home with anything, by the way.
Or cross the forest to get to the lake just about an hour from home. And once back to the fireplace, we’d have hot chocolate and Baci di Dama, the best cookies ever (recipe-not mine, but from a girl from my region).
Other times, it meant waking up at 3 am, hit the road and spend the morning on the slopes of Cervinia, snowboarding and eating polenta with stew. There might have been some drop of handmade Grappa (is that what you call it when you distill alcohol in your basement hoping nobody -read, the police- will find you? Well, that’s what we had), and man, that thing was strong.
Or a long, nice ride on horseback, wedging your hands between the saddle blanket and the horse to get some extra warmth.
Snow during weekdays, on the other hand, meant lots and lots of bad words and work.
First of all, I lived on top of a damned steep hill. I’m talking more than 11% incline with a sharp bend halfway through. If you missed it, say because the tires slid on wet snow or ice, you’d find yourself parked in my uncle’s fish pool. And forget public cleaning: we had to clear the road. With shovels. And sprinkle it with salt and sand so it wouldn’t ice over.
That’s where the swearing blossomed and thrived.
On top of that, there was the nuisance of frozen windshields. My fingers still ache at the memory of such a stupidly freezing job.
And who doesn’t like a nice, toasty fireplace? Oh, yeah? Then chop some wood, pronto.
The ever-wet bottom hem of the pants, that soaked the socks and the poor feet inside.
Plus, I had to drive into the city because, of course, that’s where University was. Honestly, city people deal with snow poorly. As in oh-dear-god-I’m-going-to-die-of-age slow.
So, all in all, when it comes to snow there is no middle ground, really. It’s going to be the best, funniest day ever, or it’s going to be a bloody, freezing disaster.
And today, when we (my Marco and me) feel that snow-itch crawling up our backs, we plan for a short vacation where we can get only the fun part of the deal.
Which is brilliant, isn’t it?
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An excerpt from All Those Miles I Walked, Book 1 in the Crescent Creek Collection.
Crescent Creek Collection is still on sale for a limited time for 0.99 cents.
With a pat on his arm Joe left, leaving Scott with a pair of hazel eyes he’d done his best to hate.
“Hi,” DJ said when she was closer.
“Hey,” he replied.
He edged on her side, started for the door, but her voice stopped him again. “How are you?”
Oh, so she wanted to make conversation. Fine. He was civil enough to talk to her. “I’m well, thank you.”
“I’m taking some time off, finally,” she said with an unsure smile. “I saw your brother the other day.”
“Rhett is well, too. Thanks.”
She took a breath, clearly working hard at keeping her smile in place despite his frosty reply. Want to run now, do you? Scott scorned in his mind. After all, running away and disappearing for twelve fucking years when things got tough was how she rolled.
“This is awkward,” she all but whispered.
“No. Just useless.”
Temper had always had a way of sharpening the green speckles in her bright eyes. It surprised him how she cleared it out with a sharp intake of breath and replaced it with a smile. “I came by your restaurant with my parents, I think it was last year.”
“You knew I was there?”
“My restaurant, in my town. What do you think?”
She played with a huge bead of her necklace. “You could have come out from the kitchen, say hi.”
“I had nothing to say.”
“Okay, there’s no need to be rude–”
“I’m not. I literally had nothing to say. To you.” Years of repressed anger spurred out and he made no attempt to hold back. “Don’t get me wrong,” he kept saying, frozen steel in his pleasant tone. “I had plenty to say years ago but you disappeared into thin air, so I figured you didn’t overly care about what I got on my mind.”
Or in his heart, but he’ll rot in hell before telling that much out loud.
“There are two sides to a story.” An annoyed little edge flashed in her voice. Yes, he remembered it and how it meant trouble. He’d liked it back then in the way you like driving too fast on a scarred backroad. He’d liked it because he’d been green and stupid. As a settled adult, he didn’t care for it. He did not.
“Maybe,” he conceded. “But it’s one story, and ours is that you upped and left with not as much as a ‘see ya’.”
“I was scared.”
“For more than a decade?” He scoffed. “Please. You don’t have enough dedication for that.”
“Still stubborn as a mule.”
“I am. And you’ll be off again for god knows where in what, a week? Two?” He unhooked his sunglasses from the collar of his t-shirt, put them on. “You’re right, some things don’t change. Have a great vacation, DJ.”