Counting Noses


Marcy Bartlett
Submitted 6 months ago
Hartford, VT

The phone calls came in short succession. It was about 10 years ago. Two sisters and one brother called to say Dad didn't sound good. Not to worry, I was already on my way to put my eyes on him. 


It's a long tradition that we call counting noses. 


"Oh, really? You're going to follow the snow plow back to college? Call me when you get there." (Known for either falling asleep at the wheel, or for retread tires, my nose was often counted back then...) I forgot to call. I was 20 and invincible. I didn't tell them that I had pulled over to sleep in a rest area in a blizzard, when the VT State Police tapped on my window to make sure I was alive. Mom was hysterical when I finally checked in...


Before the internet, cell phones, email, GPS, we had the landline. When there was trouble of any kind, we counted noses. Just a quick call to let them know we got there in one piece. 


So this morning, the texting went back and forth. Me to my sibs: -22 here. Brother in CT: 7. Sister in FL: 58. Boston sister, in Jamaica for Christmas: no reply. It's fine, she should be ashamed of herself going snorkeling while we freeze. 


But she better reply, or I'm comin'.


Baby, it's COLD outside!! Got some noses you need to count?



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