The most positive thing about being in a place where the temperature is -19 degrees with about 20+ inches of snow on the ground is that nothing, and I mean nothing, happens around your house without your knowing about it.
Unless the event involves tooth fairies, Santa Claus, UFOs, or other invisible, flying objects, there are bound to be tracks in the snow chronicling the event.
Here is where my niece tried out my daughter’s snowshoes to see if she really wanted to invest in a pair. (One trip around the house and I think she’s cured for life.)
Here is where Poppy, the foster cat who was visiting over the holidays, re-established her hunting/stalking route, ending in the window well.
Here is where the meter reader came around the corner of the house to read the meter by our deck. I hope it was the meter reader. I really hope it was the meter reader. Otherwise, this is where the slasher/murder/window peeper crept around the corner of our house to stalk and ogle on the night Tom was gone and I heard cat noises made by a cat that really wasn’t there.
And here are my favorite tracks. Every school morning, our two little neighbor boys, ages 9 and 7, bounce out their front door, cut across the snow between our two houses . . .
walk across our driveway and down our sidewalk . . .
and then wade right through 20+ inches of snow to their bus stop on Rosewood Lane.
I love their floundering little tracks. It would be so much easier for them if they walked down their shoveled driveway and along the plowed street to the bus stop. So much easier.
But when you’re 9- and 7-year-old boys, you like a challenge. You take the same path that you started taking in the green-grass days of September, and through force of habit, continue to take it, even when you have to plow through snow up to your knees.
To their teachers, it’s probably a mystery why the boys come to school every morning with wet jeans and socks and snow-caked boots.
But I know the truth. I'm a tracker, the Natty Bumpo of Nissen Street. It’s winter in Minnesota, and the tracks in the snow tell all.