In deep winter nights when snow danced down the sky, I’d lay in bed, swaddled in flannel sheets. A holy quiet fell about the street, slight light from the city’s reflection in the sky and mirror of snow slipping through a crack in my curtain. I listened to my breaths, small and polite, while my brothers and sister slept in their own beds scattered throughout our second floor. In those sweet snows, the flakes would fall in droves helped by the wind and staggering themselves across and upwards on the driveway. It became my house’s blanket, nestling its inhabitants warm and snug underneath the roof and insulation.
Faint from the other side of the house, the door would wrinkle open, few seconds later, sing shut. Movement in the garage, pull of low and chest-cough engine. Whir of motor, and in my bed I smiled. Dad trudging down the driveway, snow blower cutting down the river of white to clear a path for the cars in the morning. Down he’d brace himself against the dip of the hill, reigning in the blower though its chained tires clung to the icy bottom like Velcro. His red sweatshirt, hood pulled tight across his head, brown and orange striped hat across the hood. Black Coors jacket layered and thick to beat out the cold. Navy sweatpants, big, brown stomping boots I hoped kept his toes dry. Cut a path across the bottom, begin ascent. Continue in slow strides, snow mounding up on the side of the lawn. We would have banks to jump in come morning.
I fell asleep to the sweet sound of engine purring out powder, blades propelling a clearing in in an empty street. The silence of the night, save the snow blower, make the snow seem that much cozier, wrapping its own blankets across the shoulders of our yellow house. My family, already deep into dreams, the comfort in the knowledge they were safe and warm. And me in my queen bed, socks holding the warmth of my feet, soothed asleep by my dad outside piling up the powdered snow.