Essay: Rain Changing to Snow

Feb 23, 2018

Rain changing to snow in the forecast. Two doors down, a young man hauls a roll of carpet out of the house. Virginia’s house, I think, but not anymore. She died last summer at age 88 and a young couple has bought it. Their first house.

A slim woman staggers out onto the porch under another roll of carpet and hands it up to the young man who has backed a pick-up truck into the yard. He covers the carpet with a blue tarp and pulls up the hood of his jacket.

Not a good day to move, not a good season. But when it’s your first house you hardly notice. It was February when my husband and I moved into a tiny place on Washington Street that needed work. We had paid more than we could afford, convinced we could fix it up ourselves.

I remember painting window frames and taking deep breaths to hold off the nausea. I had just found out I was pregnant, a fact we did not reveal at the bank closing when we listed two paychecks on the dotted line. A baby was not in our plans but I had begun to think it might be okay. Even wonderful.

For the nursery, I sewed curtains out of beach towels and my husband built a wooden cradle. We painted the walls blue and hoped for a girl. We never guessed she’d outgrow the cradle in three months. Never guessed we’d outgrow the house in five years.

Now, through Virginia’s kitchen window I see a silhouette of the young couple embracing. Not Virginia’s window. Rain changing to snow.