I was six years old when I first saw snow falling from the sky. I'll be honest, I don't remember much from my childhood, but that night I will never forget.
It was Christmas Eve, cloudy as usual, and our family was gathered at dinner. My father seemed worried and preoccupied, barely engaging in the conversation around our small, festive table. My mother had decorated with candles and a red embroidered tablecloth in an effort to keep things fun for us kids, but looking back on it, she must have been upset, too. My brother explained to me in hushed whispers that he had heard our parents talking about "the necessity of a possible loan from Mr. Sardick," but I was too young to understand the implications of this statement. Of course I knew who Mr. Sardick was, but I wasn't even sure what "necessity" meant.
We were finishing our Christmas tart, a family tradition and about the only thing my mom can actually bake, when the tapping came at our window. Outside on the flagstones, we could see a crowd of faces crouching to see into the low windows of our basement room. Our neighbors gestured wildly and shouted indistinguishable phrases at us through the windows. My brother and I bounded from our chairs, eager for a break from the tense atmosphere that we couldn't understand, but our escape was not to be so easy. My mother cornered us by the door, forcing us to waste valuable minutes squirming as she wrestled us into coats and hats. Then we were free! I pushed past my sibling and stumbled up the steps to the outside, calling for my family to follow and eager to see what all the fuss was about. I unlocked the heavy wooden door and leaned against it with all my strength. It swung slowly open, and I dashed outside, making it almost halfway around the corner to our friends before I stopped in confusion.
There were more fish in the sky than I had ever seen before, swimming 'round the lampposts and so low that I could have caught one if only I were fast enough. But even the fish were unimportant in light of the strange white clumps drifting gently out of the sky. I felt a moment of panic, certain that this must be the clouds falling on us! Then I saw the people. From every doorway, families were rushing into the streets, laughing and calling to each other. Every citizen of Sardicktown was outside on that night. I turned and saw my parents come through the door and stop in amazement, staring at the sky. "Snow!" my mother exclaimed. "Oh, look! It's snow!" She turned to my father and a smile stretched across her face as he lifted her up in a hug and spun her around, the movement made awkward by their half-buttoned coats. The snow collected in their hair as they stood there, worries momentarily forgotten, and the bells began to chime for Christmas Eve.