Smells Like Vanilla

“Struck brightly by the winter, when the snow falls thick and silent, I can only hear you breathing.” ~Matt Pond PA I miss the smell of freshly fallen snow. When we were kids I used to dive into it, just lie there all clean, just waiting to get washed in white. It wasn’t about the … Continue reading Smells Like Vanilla


Shoop, shoop, shoop. This guy jogged past me at a steady clip, breathing steady, smooth on his feet. I trudged like a turtle. Clip. Clop. Clip. Clop. I waved to him as he passed me heading south on a two way road devoid of traffic. It was just me and him, and the contrasts really … Continue reading Whiteout

Stark Winter

The cold seeps in like a drug Coursing its way through my veins Settling deep into sinew and bone Possessing its own heartbeat This frozen wasteland of mine Starving for a recognition That will never arrive And these latent convictions Solid as a block of ice Yet chipped away by circumstance By a monumental love … Continue reading Stark Winter

Mid-Winter Memories

snow_through_windowI remember winter breaks when I was young. My sister and I would get dropped off at Nana’s house, my mother driving us in the old, powder blue Chevy Nova that made the sputtering noises as if it would die any minute. Joy and I would make bets as to when it would finally expire, but it never seemed to care.

We would pull up to the house in the early morning hours grumpy to be awakened at such an hour during vacation. Nana always waited for us just inside the front door. We could see her silhouette outlined against the glass, past the ripped screen, in her bathrobe and fuzzy slippers.

Of course we were bundled up to face the elements in our big, puffy coats with frayed scarves and knitted caps. The crumbling front steps of Nana’s house were a welcome sight because we had seen them countless times before, and they felt like home. Nana felt like home when she opened that door and enveloped the both of us in her arms, a big smile on her face as she ushered us inside.

We quickly shed those outer layers because Nana always kept the house as “hot as hell,” our Uncle Nolly would always say. He lived with her because he had nowhere else to go, and he was constantly blessing us when we entered. I was never sure if his blessings were real or not, but I always felt like I couldn’t make fun of him for it because they might be. Uncle Nolly was blind, but he had an uncanny knowledge of where we were at all times when we were in the house, and he would mumble as such, even when we were trying to hide. He often smelled of smoke, which was comforting in its own way

We would pass by his chair on our way into the dining room where Nana would have hot chocolate waiting for us. Of course it was rarely ever still hot by that point, but those chipped mugs were as familiar to us as our own names. My mom was long gone, and we began to take bets as to her mood when she would come back to retrieve us from our winter’s day. Some mornings the 8-track player would already be on, providing a subtle soundtrack to our conversation that was always well-scripted. Continue reading “Mid-Winter Memories”