Photo Op


In the winter months, newspapers love running seasonal photos. You’ve all seen them after a snow: a caption beneath a picture of dogs romping in a park; or kids in puffed-up parkas, careening down a sled run; or the silhouette of a lone cross-country skier, commuting to work. (I know you’ve all spotted that last one; it’s an editorial fave.)

So nice, picturesque images of a winter wonderland.


Typical caption: Child cavorts in Saturday snowfall.


The photo above is from my archives. Hadley, a few years ago.


This one, however, is a recent snapshot of winter revelry.


Caption: Pigpen wallows in salt, sand and other road scum after recent snowfall.


Pigpen was so filthy, so completely caked in corrosive chemicals, I had to document it. That disgustingly dirty car, in its element.



Somehow the kids managed to carve a few letters out of this mobile art medium. But it wasn’t easy.


I should have taken it to the carwash but instead, I let yesterday’s sleetish-rain wash away Pigpen’s ghostly glow.

Just in time for tonight’s ice show… and another round of sand, salt and grit.

It’s a good winter to be Pigpen.

Snow Bust




Flushing ice cubes down the toilet did the trick: the kids landed a snow day.

Technically, a snow day but more of a hype day. High probability of 7 to 14 inches, crowed forecasters. We fueled up the tractor, hitched the snow blade, bedded stalls, restocked firewood…

And for what?

A couple inches of slush, glued to the grass. So lame!


Unrelated update: In Randolph news I spotted our cheeky fox, taunting the dog at 3 am. With Maisie in the mudroom and the fox seated on the lawn, just a storm door separated the two. Randolph issued his sharp yelp while Maisie volleyed a string of indignant barks.

I got a good look at Randolph, who cocked his head but stayed put as I walked out. Then I opened the porch gate. In a spray of snow and mud, fox and dog disappeared in the dark.



Fingers Crossed


I believe in superstitions. In a pick-and-choose fashion.

Black cats don’t trouble me; Toulouse is blacker than coal and he crosses my path morning and night.

But I won’t walk under a ladder. I pick up pennies for good luck.

And I’ve created my own odd beliefs. Years ago when I horse showed every week, I always left the dry cleaner tag stapled inside my show coat — to help me win. Even now, I don’t remove it. Fox hunting, I leave the tag in my coat to ward off falls.

So I’m well-versed in superstitions. But yesterday the kids introduced a new one.

Tonight, Hadley will wear her PJs inside out and Cayden will flush ice cubes down the toilet. To make it snow.

I’d never heard of such a thing. But Google quickly confirmed that flushing cubes (or placing them on the porch); wearing PJs inside out; and tucking a spoon beneath a pillow, are time-honored, snow-wishing traditions.

Cayden, how many ice cubes do we need?” Hadley asked as we drove last night. “One for every inch of snow that we want?

No, it’s three!” I called out, picturing the kids dumping the freezer’s cavernous ice tray in the toilet. “Three ice cubes will make it snow.

I know it’s irrational — fretting about ice that will surely melt. But I don’t want their superstition clogging my toilet.