#5 : Describe What Snow Feels Like …

“Tea house at Koishikawa. The morning after a snowfall” by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849). “Tea house” is No. 11 in a series called “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” (c. 1830). Image: Wikipedia.



This is the 5th installment in a series of 51 posts inspired by a list of writing prompts from the website Journal Buddies. If you’d like to know more, here’s where I explain what this is and why I’m doing it.


I’m pretty sure writing prompts don’t exist to force a person to “answer for X”, so I’m not going to describe what snow feels like.

I’d rather tell you about how it felt to look out the window of this new, old apartment about a month ago to see that snow had fallen through the night. I’d rather tell you that when I saw the snow on the trees and the courtyard and the roofs and stones, it was the first snow I’d seen since moving to this place, a place where I want live more than any place in the whole world, and I knew that the moment I saw a picture of this apartment, this exact one, and I don’t suppose I’ll ever want to live anywhere else in the world more than I want to live here. We all say “never” and “always” and “for the rest of my life” and those words don’t always mean much, but I can tell you that I only said “for the rest of my life” twice last year and I meant it both times and one of the times I said it, I said it about this place. I said, “I want to live here forever” and worked and worked and fought to make it real, and that morning, standing in the kitchen in my pajamas in the Gold Coast, in a kitchen that hasn’t been updated since 1965, with Geneva cupboards that have to be taken to an auto body shop to get repainted, next to a Magic Chef stove from the Pleistocene era; that morning, I knew my name, my address, I knew that I had found real love, and I knew that Chicago got two inches. I did not want, nor did I need, any other information. The moment was complete, and all I had to do was walk into the kitchen.

I don’t want to write about what snow feels like as much as I want to tell you how snow made me feel.

17 Responses

  1. Nancy
    | Reply

    This is writing perfection. Thank you.

  2. Mary Ann
    | Reply

    More sweet and lovely hints! It is lovely to have your voice back with us Mary.

  3. Theresa
    | Reply


  4. Jane
    | Reply

    Great to hear your voice. Perfection!

    • Mary Lynn
      | Reply

      This. You have such a special gift of crafting words to pierce the heart. So moving ❤️

  5. Suzanne Kaye
    | Reply

    Right now, this is my life and my peace with it. Glad to join you. And my kitchen.

  6. Liz Flaherty
    | Reply

    Happily ever after comes in moments. Good for you for having one.

  7. Loreen Roths
    | Reply

    Thank you! Not only do you entertain me with your stories, but you educate me too! Had no idea what the Gold Coast is, or Geneva cabinets. Googled them and now smarter than I was a few minutes ago. Funny because I flew over Chicago on the way home to Michigan yesterday and admired the shoreline from the window of the plane. Didn’t know that I was looking at the Gold Coast! Am waiting to learn what other thing you said “For the rest of my life” to.

  8. Jordy
    | Reply

    So touching and well written! I could feel your emotion.

  9. Sue
    | Reply

    An absolute gift you have. Thank you for sharing.

  10. PattyStagl
    | Reply

    It’s really great to be comfortable in your own skin. You are whole, ready for whatever comes now or in the future. Stay strong, guard your heart, and live fully. I’m hoping you are writing the novel that’s inside you.

  11. Betty Elliott
    | Reply

    I also had to Google Geneva cabinets. I think my mother-in-law had these in her kitchen! So now I know something new. (Absolutely love the picture of the turquoise ones that popped up!)

  12. Pam Williams
    | Reply

    Snow smells so fresh and crisp. It magically swirls through the air and hits my face with a sting. And then I have to dig out my car and go to work. Bless my heart. Memories of 30 years in Connecticut.

  13. Glenda
    | Reply

    I’m so jealous. I wish I could write as you do and sometimes I come close. I like this exercise and may just try it myself. Thanks for your work!

  14. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    You are sounding… SO GOOD!!
    And is so good to read your posts.
    Thank you.♥️

  15. carol vega
    | Reply

    Great pic.
    Are you in your old condo in Chicago??

  16. Martha
    | Reply

    My house, who’s one hundredth birthday is in 2026, had metal cabinets in the kitchen, when I moved here in 1991. They were painted yellow. Having taking a marbling class form the late great decorative painter Ina Marx, I decided to paint them to look kinda like sienna marble. They were fabulous. And so I also painted the old refrigerator like slab of sienna marble. That was long ago. I still have a couple of those cabinets in my studio. Thanks for the memories. As for snow. There has been a sad dirty in NY this year. I have missed it.

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