Stopping by the Bathroom on a Snowy Evening


Photo copyright Howard Sandler at PBase - check out more of his excellent pics here: http://www.pbase.com/hsandler/image/37406522


When I woke last night around 3 am, there was a soft orange glow outside of the window. As I made my way to the bathroom (An occurrence that every man over 40 can relate to) I looked through the blinds with bleary eyes, to see a fresh coating of snow covering the back porch and the yard. It was so quiet outside, and through my sleep crusted eyes I could not make out individual flakes, just the glow of them in the night, as they seemed to absorb the lights of the city, and become iridescent. Snow like this always makes me think of Robert Frost, the poet laurete of snow. While it may be a myth that Eskimo’s have more than one name for snow, I think that Frost captured at least 9 different moods of it.

This morning the indomitable Moxie is curled up by my feet, chewing on her dead racoon. Well, it’s not a real dead racoon, just a stuffed one without any stuffing. Although the smell of it might make you believe it was a real one. She has been my constant companion lately. This is the reward for being the human who walks her. Every night, we head out in the dark to walk the streets around the neighborhood. There is a small woods a few block away, where some short hiking trails wind through the Oak trees, and over the little glacial drumlins, and potholes. Moxie being part hound, it is a veritable smorgasbord of smells for her to enjoy. Squirrel, rabbit, fox, turkey, and deer, all frequent the place, and her nose is buried in the snow as she devours their scents. These nightly walks in the snowy woods also remind me of Frost, and his poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”. The one poem that I choose to memorize and recite for a 7th grade assignment.

Frost would be horrified to know that I have started carrying along an iPod on these walks. I have recently discovered the radio work of the late Jean Shepherd. Shepherd was a radio personality, humorist, famous for his late night monologues on WOR in NYC back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. He is probably best known as the creator of the cult movie, ‘A Christmas Story’, which is a collection of his stories about growing up in the 30’s in Hammond, Indiana. Some wonderful folks have taken the time to collect recordings of his shows, and put them up on iTunes in podcast form. Shepherds stories are at once both humorous, and wistful. His style is unique. He rambles along at times seeming to be going nowhere, until suddenly he takes a turn and pulls up right in front of your destination leaving you surprised that you didn’t see it coming.

It will be a quiet week next week here on the Front Porch. I am heading out to Los Angeles for work for a few days, and will not be posting. Peace.

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