As I trudged out to attack the latest snowfall, I tried to imagine a time when snow was just snow, wonderful, beautiful snow. When it was not business snow, fallen or manufactured to entertain skiers. Or, problem snow needing to be shoveled or pushed off vehicles or melted with salt and sand to make sure no wheels in our fast-paced culture ever had to slow down.
Surely I'm wrong, but it seems to me that even children don't have fun with snow anymore – outside of organized activities.
And I can't remember the last time anyone mentioned making snow ice cream. I made it as a child in Meridian, Mississippi (yes, indeed, Mississippi. Snow. In the '50s.) And in East St. Louis, Illinois. Snow, milk, vanilla extract, sugar. Stir, freeze.
No longer a luxury item, store-bought ice cream can be bought by anyone now, even people as poor as my family was. Besides, many folks nowadays think it'd be foolish to eat snow off the ground.
Finished with my shoveling and starting to get cold, I paused just before going back inside. I couldn't resist; the heavy wet snow was perfect. I picked up a handful and formed it into a raggedy ball. Then I wound up my throwing arm and pitched a perfect strike down the center of a great big birch.