If I only I could read weather signs better from a distance. The forecasts on the internet and television are all very fine, but if I knew more about tree bark and the flight patterns of chickadees, I might have known before setting out for my New Hampshire gig that the “dusting” of snow that was predicted would actually be something more like a “piling up”. I would have brought taller boots. Right now – the part of the evening that is suppose to have a few light flurries – it is snowing steadily and hard.
One might think, knowing that I live in NY, that I am a city girl unduly alarmed by a little white powder. Let me dispel that notion. I have been, and am now, a city girl, but I lived for a dozen years in the heart of the Adirondacks. I have shoveled out cars, shoveled off roofs, helped a horse out of a deep drift and even skijored behind two silly, fast dogs (don’t try that unless you are already a good skier. I was not). I know some things about snow. Believe me, this is not a flurry.
Because Tex Arnold and I are already here in NH, we are able to do the concert. But there is little chance that we are going to make it back to the city as early as we had hoped. Still, there are worse places to be stuck than this part of New New England. Just outside the small town where we will be performing are beautiful white fields unmarked by anything but deer tracks. Old barns stand tall and stark against winter as some of them have already done for over 150 years. Out on the frozen lake, a village of ice shanties has sprouted. A Congregational church is a short walk away, and I may take myself there in the morning if the skies and roads are not clear enough for leaving.
I grew up, for the most part, in the “Congo” church, and my parents were choir stars wherever we lived. My mom had a glorious coloratura voice, my dad a lovely tenor. I was in the children's choir, and I was the kid who did solos because I sang in tune and didn’t get scared (translation: I sang in tune and liked the attention). I was confirmed in a Congregational church, and was given a Bible to mark the occasion. My name was written on the first page, and my “personal watchword” on a handwritten card. This was a Bible verse that was supposed to carry me through good and bad times. A few years later, that Bible was left behind on one of my family’s many moves, and the card was lost. I have no idea what my personal watchword was. It might have changed my life. Perhaps it already did. Who can say? After all, there are a lot of verses about singing in that book…
But for the moment, I will use this one, because it speaks to my current (road) condition:
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like crumbs…
That's from Psalm 147, and it's about right for tonight.