Ice meant no school. And, no school, even for a kid who loved school, was a wonderful thing.
Russell County had numerous dirt roads such as the one I lived on, many of them narrow twisting things that were hard to navigate even on a good day. A school bus had no hope of delivering cargo in ice, so the students stayed home, sometimes for six weeks at a time.
Snow days were filled with sledding, sometimes down mountainsides and into ravines that make the adult in me doubt the sanity of the nine-year-old. There was the time when I hit a mogul with my aluminum bowl sleigh, flew about six feet into the air inverted and landed on my head. I remember a crunching sound, after which I lay on my back for a few minutes in the deep powder.
My mother wanted me to be a doctor someday, so I was bombarded by biology texts from an early age. I understood the spinal chord ran down through the vertebrae, and crunching noises were not a good thing. I did a quick inventory: still breathing, that was good. Heart beating. Yep. Wiggle the fingers. Very nice. Wiggle the toes. Yep.
I survived, needless to say. Although forty years later if I bend my neck back it makes a very disconcerting popping sound.
The rest of the time was filled with reading, playing, listening to the radio (1973-1983 had better music than today, sorry millennials), and watching TV. In short, it was fun, it was restful, and I miss it.
Nowadays, I can't stay home on six-week long snow vacations. There are obligations. But, I still feel that call to hibernate through the winter months.
This year, I took a break from writing until mid-January. Sinead is on hold. Writing about nineteen-year-old assassins is challenging. Instead, I'm about 25% through Valkyrie: The Road. It's post-apocalyptic fiction set in the world I created in Turning the Darkness. It's almost writing itself.
Afterward, I will return to Sinead, but I have a feeling there's going to be a detour. I woke up one morning with a story about this man named Garrett in southwest Virginia who decides to become a bounty hunter. He doesn't talk a lot, but there's a whole slew of other characters around him who talk a great deal. I think I'll write down their story and see where it goes.
After a nap. It's cold outside.