Snow Storm

by Jonathan Ives

It was a simple text. Grill? I looked out my window, surprised to see the lights of the Damariscotta River Grill were indeed on. My wife and I had spent most of the day inside, catching up on a long to-do list overshadowed by the holidays. Outside, the strong winds from winter storm Hercules blew, swirling white clouds down an empty Main Street. I felt inspired to brave the elements and catch up with my local friend Nate, bringing my acoustic guitar in case we felt motivated to warm up the weather with some hot jams.

The wind cut through my clothes when I walked outside. The local parking ban made the town look strange with snowdrifts lining the sides of the streets. I walked with only the wind in my ears down a silent, snow swirled sidewalk until I saw the warm lights of the local pub up ahead. The downstairs was empty but the sound of voices and laughter got louder as I walked up the stairs, shaking off the soft snow that  was stuck to my shoes.

“Jonny!” my friend exclaimed as I walked up to the bar. “Happy New Year! Let me buy you a beer.” I accepted his offer and found a safe corner to put my guitar case. I walked around greeting other locals who lived close enough to the Grill that they could travel by foot. I found out that Dave and his wife were having a baby boy so I gave him a big hug. We all sat around a small table catching up on the last few weeks. The cold wind rattled the windows as I took off another layer. Dave asked, “Are you guys playing music tonight?” I told him, “I’m always down to warm up my fingers on a cold night.” Word spread around the upstairs and even the waitress was invited to come along. Her last table was finishing up and she agreed to meet us, saying, “I never turn down a chance to listen to live music.”

As we were leaving three men walked upstairs covered in snow. They had just finished shoveling off the community hockey rink. We all slapped their backs in thanks and told them we’d be out there to play some pick up hockey once the snow stopped. I smiled as I walked out into the winter wind, thinking about passing the puck across smooth ice. My father always told me that only boring people are bored. I live in a place where we make the best of what the weather provides us with.