My mom is getting the finishing touches done--"Have you all gone to the bathroom?" "Stand still!" "Put your boots on first, then your mittens." The three of us, the sisters, tromp tromp tromp out the front door, across the porch, and out the screen door. "Don't slam the door!" shouts mom. After mom closes the door, I gaze out, my eyes gulping everything in. I love the bright sparkles the sun makes on the new snowfall. Trees are wearing coats, the car is under a thick hat. With such a wonderland, how could I feel any cold?
We tromp, tromp, tromp through the snow, lifting knees high. We work on a snow man, but can't find sticks for arms or anything for eyes. He remains faceless, and has no arms. Snowballs. Cold, cold. My cheeks feel hot. I know they are red. Mittens are soaked now. Time to go in. In the screen door. "Don't slam the door!" shouts mom. Tromp tromp tromp across the porch, stopping at the front door. We are taking off wet mittens and hats, coats and scarfs, sweaters and the loathed snow pants, boots and shoes that are never protected quite enough. We go inside and mom has made us hot cocoa. Not hot chocolate. Hot cocoa. I hate hot cocoa.
New morning, and new snow has buried the old. We stumble out of bed. "Where is the snow shovel?" dad asked. "I don't know," we all say. "Get dressed, go out in the back yard, and find it. Now." His stern voice leads us to obey. No questions, no resistance. This morning the snow has no sparkles. We walk past the snow man, and soundlessly, with dead eyes, drag, drag our feet until someone's boot bumps it, and we can go in for breakfast.