How to Read in the Snow

Find a snow bank, about four feet high; maybe something off to the left of the sidewalk your dad snowplowed this morning before going to work. Pull your mittens up tight and start digging at about a foot below the top of the bank. (A foot is a safe bet for a roof. Shouldn’t collapse.) Dig like a dog burying a bone, but make sure the snow doesn’t land back on the sidewalk. (You do NOT want that lecture.) Clear a space about four-by-three feet, that should be big enough. Now, round the roof into a dome, high enough so you won’t feel closed in. (Remember how claustrophobic you are, even at ten years old.)

Next, walk back to the house, up the stairs to the back door, into the mud room, and quietly (as quietly as you can, given how noisy nylon is) slip off your boots, jacket, and snow pants. Mom will make you stay in if she hears you—“It’s too cold!” she’ll say—but her soap opera is on, so you’re probably safe. Tip toe to your room and tuck the book—dog eared to the page you left off at this morning—under your arm, and then quietly back out the same way you came in.

Put on your snow clothes again—cold and wet on the outside, but still warm inside—and return to your fort. Kick out your little brother. “Make your own!” you tell him. Lay down and scootch in, head first, and settle back against the far wall. Take off one mitten so you can open your book, and read the next story, the one about the little girl who sold matches…

4 thoughts on “How to Read in the Snow

  1. Love this!! I never tried to read in a snow bank, but did have a playhouse in the back yard that I would hide out in. I loved it in the fall with the afternoon sun coming in and a nice, crisp apple to accompany the story. I guess that’s when my terrible habit of spilling/splashing/splatting on books probably began…

    1. Ha! I hear you. My books get sticky and messy, too, and waterlogged! Your playhouse sounds like the perfect place to read 🙂

  2. I remember doing this. We had a circle driveway. and when it would get plowed, a lot of the snow was dumped in the center where we could make “igloos” to crawl into and play or read. I was always amazed at how much warmer it was inside them than outside. Fun memories!

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