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  • Writer's pictureChristina Hunt Wood

Snow Day Memory

As I type this entry, there is Nor'easter dumping snow across our region. I'm reminded of the blizzard of '93. I was a restless teen trapped at home in Jefferson, NY and absolutely bored out of my mind. We did not have the modern amenities used to distract bored teens these days—not even cable TV because Jefferson was too rural to have such a luxury. I decided to take a walk. I put on my muck boots, bundled up, and headed into the wild...well, actually, I just walked around the house. It took about a half hour and all the energy and grit I could muster. Once I completed my trek, I went inside, pulled off my snowy layers, made some tea, and perched myself onto the kitchen stool, which was placed perfectly over a heat register.

I can't remember all of the details, as it was a few years ago now, but I imagine my Mama was starting to make some dinner. I would often sit on that stool and talk to her as she busily whipped up some kind of hearty meal. We would laugh a lot as she'd tell ridiculous stories about what so-and-so was up to last week. Like how an extremely busty gal didn't wear a bra and caused quite the stir at one of the local schools.

These conversations were the best!

It's been a handful of years since my Mama passed and I miss those talks with her. I am fortunate, however, that my sister still lives in the house, that the stool remains in position over the heat register, and that she inherited Mama's storytelling skills. I occasionally get to sit and listen to her stories as she prepares meals -- really amusing stories about rogue Amish farmers she was dealing with or a former employee with many husbands, few teeth, and probably some felonies who up and quit one day.

Anyway, today, I was supposed to travel and pick up artwork for the exhibition at CANO that is opening at the end of the month. But plans changed due to the weather. Nowadays, I'm less bored with being stuck at home partially because there are plenty of things to distract me if I want, like binge watching Dateline or mindlessly scrolling reels on Instagram. And partially because I have this project and the stories from community members that keep me busy, interested, and excited.

I'll use this unexpected gift of time to prep for the CANO show, edit a recording from yesterday's interview with Margaretville Central School's Superintendent, Michelle Osterhaudt, and organize text and images for another upcoming Living Archive event. Turns out, I've always been a person who loves a great story about what's going on with people in my community.

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