The Great Plotnik

Friday, January 28, 2011

Remembering Winter

The Brooklyn Bridge covered with snow. This is the beautiful. Then you get the city bus mired and stuck. This is the not so cool.

The Great PD sends these photos and calls and texts how much he loves this first part of winter, the gorgeous first fall of snow, or the second, or maybe the third, and how the city is so quiet and lovely. Plottie remembers all that. Plot was a transplanted California kid once too, and has never forgotten how those snowstorms look, from the gently falling flakes to the untouched white blankets on top of the dogshit-laden concrete streets below.

When they were -- well, a little older than BZWZ but just a little younger than PD and 5H, Plot and Duck spent astonishingly beautiful winters in New York City and then in their own little farmhouse in the Pennsylvania countryside, where PD was born. Plot remembers sitting in front of the fireplace, having split a huge pile of fallen logs for firewood that afternoon and now getting to sit and enjoy his labor; or the crack of dawns outside on the front porch listening for the deer who would graze with their fawns in the day lily beds, ears and eyes alert for the slightest noise; or the short walk up to the henhouse with baby PD, wearing his red snowboots and blue jacket, to grab a few eggs from under the hens for breakfast, snow crackling underfoot and Plotnik's mustache turning instantly white with frost.

He remembers how content he felt, the night so cold but the farmhouse toasty warm, baby PD sleeping in his crib, Ducknik in her easy chair. Piano over there. Food in there. Cats down there. Plottie could feel like he had accomplished something really important -- safety for his family from out of the bitter elements.

He's not describing this right. It was more than just contentment. It was completion. Victory. For the day. That's not it either. Sometimes language just doesn't get it.

He remembers his first snowfall, on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan on New Year's Eve, when he looked into the neon and saw white soft stuff falling onto his eyelids from out of the sky. What is that? he wondered, catching it in his mittens and watching it turn into dewdrop. He remembers driving his cab down Broadway when he was the only car on the road. In New York City! The bums were stretched across the boulevard, making drunk snow angels, no trucks or buses to worry about. He remembers the view of the Empire State Building in the snow from Ducknik's old apartment before they moved in to the Cockroach Arms. He remembers how his West Coast fingers, ears and nose could not find anywhere to hide from the wind, not at first, no matter how much fur and flannel he put over them, not for a season or two.

So The Great Plotnik gets it. He gets it. When you live with only two seasons (Real Estate Signs UP and Real Estate Signs DOWN), four seasons are special, in January.

Come February, not so much. Come March, when what you hoped for (sun) is not what you get (wind and slush), less so.

On the farm, we planted our tomatoes on April 30, and that was a stretch. It's a long way from January 28 to April 30.


At 10:30 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Just ran into Dan and Isabella out on the snowy sidewalk. Fun. Everyone is digging out today.

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous jj-aka-pp said...

Nice attempt at that feeling of the first snow falls.
It WAS beautiful here in the ATL on Jan. 10 so pristene and QUIET..then the ice set in....
65 degrees today! HEAT WAVE!

At 7:25 AM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

Love the two seasons line!


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