On a Snowy Morning

I suspect that very soon after the invention of cars there was the invention of mission vans. The community here in Paltinis shares four of them.

Three are in decent enough shape. One is old and rattly. Riding in it can give you the sensation you are in a cattle car, or a worn down stage-coach. My earliest memory of it is opening the door and seeing the straw strewn about on the floor. Someone had been hauling a few hay bales. This van is considered the property of the VS boy. He’s a fine fellow and take pride in his ride, shifting gears and passing slow vehicles like a local.

Claudia and I were in the United States for Christmas. The weather in Pennsylvania had been rainy and not so cold. We returned to a winter wonderland. I’m told this area of Romania hasn’t seen this much snow in quite a few years. It must be that global warming thing.

While we were gone, a new baby was added to one of the church families here. That meant vans were shuffled so the expectant mother could have constant access to wheels. Claudia and I hardly need a van, we live a kilometer and a half from school. So it happened that the old rattly van fell to us. It had changed a bit while we were gone. A back window was missing.

The second morning we awoke to fresh snow falling.

As we backed out onto the road, I mentioned to Claudia that I was glad it wasn’t the front window. She shivered.

Halfway to school I rembered Robert Frost and he kept me laughing all day.

Whose van this is I think I know. /His house is in the village though; /He will not see me stopping here /To watch his van fill up with snow.


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