Squirrel

United States

I'm 13 years old and was born on Valentines day during a snowstorm- I don't really make entrances like that anymore. I live in the panhandle of Idaho with my family and 6 pets, none of them are dogs or cats.

My-daho Christmas

December 8, 2019

    By December first the Palouse changes, the rolling wheat fields, each stalk made of spun gold that dance in the breeze during the summer, are now harvested, each hill sleeping under a fluffy white crystalline duvet of winter. The snow is a blanket of silence, a hood pulled over the fields and houses, covering them in the type of beautiful silence you are afraid to shatter. The sound of laughter echoes through the hills, and soon people of all ages are walking around in parkas, mittens and all manner of downy, cozy things, giving the appearance of multi- colored Michelin tire people. The snow builds up quickly, soon finding it's way into every crevice in my clothing, I can feel the cool snow melt, trickling down my back, and through my socks, but I don't care because the first snowfall brings childish giddiness back. 
    In the darkness of winter trees along main street are covered in white lights, illuminating them as if covered in glowing leaves every branch carefully wrapped. The air is so cool, breath hangs like miniature clouds, mingling with the smell of winter. The city tree a Blue Spruce is a model in glowing, shining jewelry- the center of attention- in the middle of the square. During the warm months crowds gather in shorts for Saturday Markets, but one magical day in early December, months after the bright canopies are stored away, everyone returns for the holiday parade. I shiver in the frosty gale that springs up occasionally to throw bitter cold leftover snowflakes in our rosy faces. The music has begun to play further down the parade route, becoming louder and louder every second. Felicity the youngest giggles beside me, at four she is always excited to see floats and animals- many animals, in a farming town its not a surprise to see someone in a Krampus costume leading goats through the parade- but more than anything she wants parade candy- that freezes in the few seconds it is hurtling at you like a comet.
    "There they come!" Charlotte says- younger than me by 2 1/2 years, we have been watching the parade for years, we wait hopefully like children on Christmas Eve for the firetruck, leading the parade like the Moscow high baton twirlers. Next, the Palouse growers truck decked out in wheat wreaths, then Tase T. Lentil in a christmas sweater, but soon the floats are just a mishmash of holiday cheer and deafening carols. I sit in wait for the black carriage, the horses are of course my favorite part, maybe someday I'll have my own but for now I have to be content watching the graceful parade Percherons each an image of pure beauty, and strength. Their glistening black coats show the hours of careful grooming spent on them this afternoon. The carriage is a sleigh on wheels, black and graceful like the horses, trimmed in red and silver it looks like something from the north pole. My eyes are glued to them like I have never seen something so awe inspiring before, but they have appeared in every holiday parade I remember. The horses appear again this year, to my relief, they appear like a dream and move up the street, almost dancing they toss their heads, bells jingling the carriage moves in sync with the tall creatures that all too soon disappear out of sight. As we're leaving, I slip on ice and land hard in a puddle of cold, icy water, that quickly chills me, but the magic of the horses that I wish for year round keeps me warm inside. 
    Weeks later I look out a window onto feet of snow, feeling like it won't let up, wishing that I could be out there doing something, and I painfully remember exactly what we are going in 20 minutes. 
    "Get ready to go" my mom says walking into the living room, grab your coats and get boots on. Procrastinating I grab my coat, then sliding my feet into my boots, I shuffle out the door through feet of snow. One of the sliding doors on the minivan is frozen shut so I have to climb in on the other side over piles of humans encased in boots and snow pants perfect for tripping over, I utter my annoyance. Unexpectedly the roads aren't bad because roaring snow plows have already cleared them, and excreted small lumps of nasty road salt that seem to get everywhere and destroy like the plague, nothing is sacred. 
    Pulling up at the building everything is lit up like a Christmas tree. We tumble out the door like a pack of jackals and head inside, this used to be an ok Christmas tradition and now it seems like a lame gift. Pushing and shoving to get to Mom, Michael and Felicity want to get pictures taken. We go to the pictures first, presumably because my mom is tired of the fighting and whining. Dressing up in costumes seems to take hours, and I'm finally assigned to a long white dress and tinselly bow, neither smelling like they have been exposed to fresh air in the last hundred years. My sister disappears halfway through, probably to the crafts. Finally the 3 of us pose for about a decade and get out of there, but we don't have time to go to the nativities- my favorite thing. As we leave my younger siblings giggle, and that happiness makes me realize for the first time what the holiday season actually means, maybe not getting what you want, but making sure others do. As we walk through the slushy parking lot to our car the stars twinkle like christmas lights and the moon hangs full over sleeping fields and pine forests like a sugar cookie. The sweet smell of trees, wind and snow tickles my frozen nose when we reach the car, the frozen door has thawed out by now and I smile all the way home to carols. 

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  • December 8, 2019 - 4:56pm (Now Viewing)

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