April in New Hampshire:
Winter to Spring in 30 Days
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THIRTY DAYS OF APRIL: SNOWSTORM TO FLOWERS)
In my first novel, The Lilting House, which I wrote in my twenties, I described my childhood as “a time of legends.” These legends were the stories the grown-ups told about their lives—in general and also specifically. One of the latter, which I heard every year, was the Legend of the April Snowstorm, and eventually I was the one telling it. I’ll repeat it once again now, as an April snowstorm blurs the windows beside my desk.
April snowstorms are common in New Hampshire, but this one was remembered because it occurred when my mother and I—a newborn baby, her firstborn—were scheduled to leave the hospital. (Well, I wasn’t exactly newborn; back in those halcyon days, mother and baby stayed in the hospital a lot longer, in this case two weeks.) My grandmother Ruth had come up from Massachusetts to help out at the farmhouse, and she and my father drove to the hospital to fetch my mother and me. The storm worsened on the drive home, on country roads. I can imagine the tension in the car, my young father at the wheel, the fearsome responsibility of the baby. What if the car got stuck in the snowdrifts?