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Wild Ideas A column by Mary Keck

Snow day magic

January 02, 2013 - When flakes fell outside the front windows of The Clarkston News office last week, I thought of snow days. Those glorious unexpected holidays from school meant sledding, fort building, and cracking through the icy surface of what had been a puddle just the day before.

If I was lucky, we'd get a blizzard right around my birthday on Jan. 12, and discovering school was out felt like getting an extra present.

Dressed in layers and unable to put my arms down like Ralphie's little brother, I threw myself down onto the snow without worry of getting hurt because I had plenty of padding.

The snow crunched as I created snow angels just my size, then I would lie there for a while feeling the soft, cool kisses of snowflakes tickle my nose and cheeks.

Hundreds of fork-shaped footprints were etched in the snow beneath the bird feeder, icicles formed along the edges of the birdbath, and I watched as individual flakes landed in my gloves.

The power of so many tiny snowflakes to transform my backyard overnight was like magic!

A similar wintery spell was cast on downtown Clarkston when it turned into a frosty wonderland.

The Optimists' rink froze for skaters, snow blanketed the roof of the gazebo in Depot Park, and ducks sprinkled with snowflakes swam in the stream beneath the bridge, oblivious to the cold.

The evergreens and red ribbons in the Clarkston Farm and Garden Club planters along Main Street looked even more festive with a layer of frost.

Under the snow, the lights hanging from shop windows emitted a cheery glow, and the Mill Pond took on a picturesque quality with its white sheen.

Unlike my school days, I didn't get to stay home due to the falling snow, but the beautiful winter scene downtown inspired that carefree snow day feeling.

As I left tracks around Clarkston, I realized I'm younger than I'm ever going to be right now, and even though my birthday is just around the corner, I'm not too old for sleds and snowballs yet. Wishing you lots of magical snow days in the New Year!

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