A recent prompt for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was: Winter.
When I think of a winter, I think of snow. And when I think of snow I think of my dad, Charlie Heiser (1913-2001).
My dad loved snow.
When it snowed Dad would take my sister, Joyce, with him to go ride around in the snow. She recalls they would slide around in the snow on purpose and laugh. This fun and games went on year after year until he hit a mailbox. Then he didn’t take Joyce out like that again. I never went. I was younger than Joyce, so I never had the opportunity.
For some crazy reason, my dad loved to shovel snow. He’d be out there as soon as a few inches had accumulated even if it was still snowing. He shoveled the steps, the walk, and around his car; only to do it again once there was more snow. His fascination for shoveling snow did not pass on to Joyce or me. We certainly did our share of shoveling, but didn’t take delight in it like Dad did.
My favorite snow memories of my dad happened every time it snow at night. From our front door, you could see a street light. Whenever it would snow at night, I would stand at the door and watch the snow in the stream of light. It was so peaceful to watch.
Invariably, Dad would come around the corner to see where the draft was coming from. He’d ask what I was doing, and I’d say it was snowing. “Isn’t it beautiful?” I would say.
Every time; he would smile, bend down behind me and put his scratchy five o’clock shadow cheek up again mine so he could look out with me, and say “It’s as pretty as a picture postcard.”
At the house I live in now, I can watch snow fall in the light of a streetlight. I make sure I do every time it snows at night just so I can remember Dad’s contagious smile, his prickly cheek against mine, and the sound of his voice.
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