The past few days, the news here has focused on the upcoming Super Bowl this Sunday at the Cowboys Stadium, or Jerryville. Not only have the stories reported on how much revenue is anticipated from fans dropping dollars all around while waiting for the big game on Sunday, but also speculating that there are not enough prostitutes in Dallas to accommodate the needs of some Super Bowl fans. Go figure!

In addition, there has been a great deal of reportage around the weather. Forecasts for this week would have you think we were in the Arctic or Antarctica. Having spent 14 years in Cleveland, whenever Patti and I have lived in other parts of the country, we are amused by the local weather forecasters and how they respond to diverse weather conditions.

When we lived in Austin, there was a forecaster there that was so passionate about his work, that if snow or ice were predicted, he would bring his RV to the station and live out of it until the weather emergency was over. He would have you think he was working the radar and doppler and other instrumentation 24/7. Perhaps he was.

Well, the forecasts here in Dallas came true, about the weather, that is. Last night, sleet and snow fell over most of the Dallas area. This morning we woke to howling winds, swirling all about the house, the barn, corral and stables. At times, it was difficult to determine whether the snow was falling from the sky or merely being blown up from the ground by cold, hard winds.

I got up early when the house is at its quietest, except for those winds whistling their own sounds, rhythms and harmonies. I sat and watched the vehicles on Murphy Road slowly and gently make their way along. It was refreshing to see individuals thinking safety over speed.

While watching the snow and listening to the winds, I thought about a favorite activity I had when Patti, the kids and I lived in Cleveland. Each winter, usually in January or February when it was at the deepest, I pulled out one of my favorite books, the poetry of Robert Frost. Ever since I was 11 and he delivered a poem at the inauguration of JFK, Frost has been my favorite. And, the Cleveland suburb where we lived was part of the “Western Reserve.” Early in American history, when there were only 13 states aligned up and down the Eastern seaboard, those states’ western borders were largely ill defined. Consequently, original states like Vermont and New Hampshire influenced areas far to the west, like what has come to be known as Ohio. To this day, many of the smaller towns of eastern Ohio are very much like New England‘s and the town I imagined Frost would  live in and illustrate in his poetry: a town square with an imposing church and shops wrapped around the square. They are charming and beautiful, particularly in the fall when the color change is in full bloom.

Sometimes, I would read the old favorites, but at other times, read some of his less distinctive poems. They were all wonderful in my eyes.

In Cleveland, I would sit in the sun room, look out at Lake Taylor with the sun reflecting off the lake like dancing diamonds. If the sun was shining, which was very rare in Cleveland during the winter, sun reflecting off the snow added extra light to the landscape. It was magical and beautiful at the same time. Having been raised in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, I never grew tired of the snow the years we lived in the Cleveland suburbs.

So, if this is the deepest part of winter that Dallas will experience, I keep my routine. I read a few Frost poems and was overwhelmed with memories of taking the kids for walks in the snow around LeDoux Reservoir, building snow people or creating snow angels, throwing snow balls for the dog to fetch, or Patti and I taking walks around the streets of Pilgrim Village. One winter, in Pilgrim Village, we had a work day in January. Lake Taylor was frozen over and a work committee needed to move tons of sand along the beach/swimming area of the lake. What better time to do that than the winter when the lake is frozen? The sand has been unloaded at the edge of the beach. Huge mountain of sand. Several of us gathered at the beach, drank a few cups of coffee, and perhaps a Bailey’s or two, hauled wheel barrows full of sand across the frozen lake and emptied them in piles so that when the lake thawed, the sand would drift down to the lake bottom and restore the beach. We certainly didn’t worry about whether the ice would crack under the weight of the full wheel barrows, the ice was very thick and strong. It  was an experience I won’t soon forget.

I hope each of you has a wonderful memory of snow, cold, biting winds, or other winter experiences that bring you great memories. With what I have seen of the weather today, it appears that the entire country is cold, getting snow, or blizzards or worse. To that end, here is a little something to help you enjoy the day and bring peace to your heart:








Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.