Sunday Afternoons with my Mother: Episode 2, A Snowy Day in January

My Co-Pilot

It's Sunday afternoon and my mother and I on the road again; in this case, a snow covered secondary road paralleling a small river that meanders it's way into the White River and then the might Connecticut. But there's nothing mighty about this stretch of water, which isn't to say it isn't pretty. Because it is pretty, my mom says so, and when you are 94 years of age, you know a pretty sight when you see one. We're stopped in the middle of the road--which isn't a problem because we haven't seen another car in a half-hour--searching the open water for the nose of a beaver breaking the surface. We don't see any live beavers, and though it would have been nice, it really doesn't matter. We're here to enjoy each other's company, not watch aquatic mammals, so the day is a success anyway.

We move on, winding our way back and forth up a steep road flanked by snow-covered pines, and then down a hill leading to a frozen lake dotted with ice fisherman jigging for yellow perch. Mom wants to join them, "Looks fun," she says. And that's what I love about my mother; she's always up for anything. As few as two years ago, I suspect we would have parked the car, ventured out on the ice, and seen for ourselves how the perch were biting. But the last two years haven't been good to her mind and body--even if they haven't tarnished her spirit--so we stay put and watch for a while, which is quite a bit more exciting than you think, before we drive off. 

The last stop is Pico, where we watch the parking lots fill up with cars, trucks and the occasional bus, out of which skiers and snowboarders pour to hit the slopes. "I used to love to ski," mom says, but without any wistfullness. We manuever closer to the slopes to get a glimpse of the fun; mom smiles broadly as she observes the skiers gracefully winding their way down the trails and the snowboarders riding the snow like a giant white wave. And then we head back to the Meadows, where my mother promptly falls asleep with a big smile on her face. 

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Cheers, Peter

Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author of medical fiction and thrillers living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter’s writing credits include The Intern (TouchPoint Press, April 2020); The Vatican Conspiracy book and audiobook (Bookouture/HachetteUK, October 2020), The Vatican Secret (Bookouture/HachetteUK, April 2021), The Vatican Secret audiobook (Saga Egmont, March 2022) and Conspirazione Vaticano (Newton Compton Editori 7/2021.) The Woman from Death Row, book one of the new Jade Stryker thriller series, will be published Summer 2023 by Tirgearr Publishing. He can be found on his Author Website, as well as his personal blog, Peter Hogenkamp Writes, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the creator, producer and host of Your Health Matters, a health information program, which airs on cable television, streams on YouTube and sounds off on podcast. Peter was a finalist for the prestigious 2019 Killer Nashville Claymore Award as well as the 2020 Vermont Writer’s Prize. He tweets—against the wishes of his wife, four children and feisty Cairn Terrier, Hermione—on Twitter. He can be reached at his FaceBook Page and at


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