Fresh Pow-Pow

Working through my afternoon sales calls, I watched in wonder as big, soft flakes floated to the ground. Slowly, but surely, the white stuff covered the trees, lawn, and un-raked leaves in a beautiful blanket. It was magical--like all first snowfalls.

Later, as I pulled into my driveway, the headlights shone on a surprisingly untracked front lawn. My curiosity quickly turned to recognition as the garage door opened. There, leaning against the back wall, was a snow-encrusted sled--the old, red Flexible Flyer--famous for its ability to hit Mach 1 on our little backyard hill (the one that ends at a fence), and equally famous for its stubborn refusal to ever turn (hence the dents in my fence).

Turning the car off, I headed for the house, remembering all the times my father had come home on a night like this. Invariably, he would find me, my four siblings and the rest of the neighborhood frolicking in the huge piles of snow lining the side of the cul-de-sac.

I smiled, recollecting how we slid down home-made “toboggan runs,” popped out of snow caves like a live version of “Whack-A-Mole,” and pelted any object with snowballs, ice balls and my personal favorite, rock balls. It must have made coming home from the office an adventure.

Returning to the present, I opened the back door and let the echoing roar of five kids clamoring around the dinner table wash over me. There, amid the shouts of “Dad!,” the squeals that pass for communication from my 18-month-old twins and the normal, ongoing arguments over whose turn it was to set the table and who took too much of whatever popular dish was being served, was the inevitable sign--red, rosy cheeks and dripping noses.

For me, the magic of that first snowfall was complete. Simple, white, wet snow had once again won out over the pull of all the modern entertainment options. I was happy for my kids, happy for my wife, happy for me.

Hopefully, this issue will bring you the same joy.

It doesn’t light up. It doesn’t talk back to you. And, if you shake it like a Wii controller, nothing much happens. But, when you dig into its pages (preferably accompanied by your favorite hot beverage in front of a roaring fire), I believe you’ll find a collection of stories, ideas and photos that will bring a smile to your face, solve a pesky problem, and/or stimulate your creativity.

Enjoy the magic of the holidays, and from our family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Till Next Month …

Rodney J. Auth