Corinne Courtney puts her heart and soul into Nailed It, the hardware store she established in our little town of Washingtonville, N.Y., in 2015. I know this because when I interviewed her for a story when I worked at the Times Herald Record last year, her dedication was palpable. She thinks hard about everything aspect of her business, from where she sources the hardware she stocks to how she can good for the community.
That thoughtfulness isn’t confined to her retail and workshop space. Its spills out to the building’s facade (kind of a misnomer here) where she regularly extends an uplifting or encouraging message to passers- and driversby.
She does think for quite a while about what she wants to convey there. So when I drove by and saw her latest writing on the wall, I had to pull over.
Perfect for this pivotal, and very nerve-wracking, moment in time.
People talk about the weather. But today nature gave us some weather we really should talk about.
Here in the Hudson Valley, we woke up to snow on the ground (and the patio umbrellas and poor daffodils, which have a hard time keeping their heads up as it is).
It’s flippin’ mid-May, OK??
Then, as I’m taking photos to document the situation, the sun breaks through the clouds. Streams through the trees, the melting starts to glisten.
I look up to the sky, hoping for a snow-bow.
It got sunny enough, and just warm enough in fact, that by midday we roused the dog and told her she was going for a walk. She donned her harness, I donned a winter coat (it was sorta cold) and sunglasses (it was really sunny).
Off we went. We heard birds. Looked at the stream. Belle trotted nonchalantly past the barking dogs doing crazy circles behind the invisible fence.
We turned a corner.
And the snowflakes began. I thought at first they were just the little white petals falling off the trees right now.
But no. It was snow. Again. Teeny, tight balls of ice-snow.
Then came the wind. It whistled. Trees creaked. I hunkered into my coat, doing that huddle-into-a-ball thing that makes you fell cold just to think about.
Belle was oblivious. Her coat is thick and soft and various shades of brown and black. She was covered in the little snow balls.
She looked like a furry salted pretzel.
As we huddled back toward our house, the snowflakes got bigger and fluffier, filling the air coming down like Christmas. It was beautiful.
We got inside. I couldn’t feel my hands. Belle looked annoyed when I tried to towel her dry.
What was it with the weather?
Once I could feel my ears again, I thought, wait, this is a gift.
We got winter, and spring. We got dark, and light. We got big fluffy snowflakes and new, green grass.
We got everything in just one day. Very efficient. Very dramatic. Very in-your face.
The Yin and the Yang.
You need one to appreciate the other. Today, as we look around us in isolation, Mother Nature gave us a nice big whack in the face, just in case we hadn’t remembered that.