Being comfortably snow bound has its advantages, especially if the heat and the electricity are working, you have plenty of food, no one else for whom you are responsible, the telephone is connected and someone else will shovel you out within 24 hours. You can sleep late watch movies, clean the bathroom, bake cookies and or day-dream without interruption. Of course, while you are doing those things little uninvited thoughts dart in and out of your memory as, they, too, have nothing important to distract them. There’s the rub.
Those little peeks into the past can, if you will forgive the pun, snowball into “what if’s”. What if you became a nurse instead of a teacher? What if you worked in Africa instead of South America? What if you married a plumber instead of a professor? What if you were born in Europe? What if you spoke Urdu? What if your parents were drunks? What if you couldn’t read or write? What if you kept your husband from dying?
That last question sends you into a tailspin. The cookies burn; the toilet brush stops swishing. Your eyes begin to leak; your chest begins to ache. You look out of the window at the falling snow; and, if you are lucky, remember that each flake is different from the other. If you are very lucky, you remember that you are a child of God. You grease the tray and dollop by dollop, you place new dough on its surface. You can wait until the snow stops: you can wait until it all stops.