Tuesday, November 28, 2006

“All the way home I’ll be warm…”

On Saturday morning we woke up to a soft layer of snow on the ground and lightly dusting the evergreens around our home. It didn’t last nearly as long as Elizabeth would have liked. She is the most snowsick teen I know. She prays for snow every autumn and carefully examines every bit of sleet that hits the ground on colder fall days. This day it had turned to rain and by late afternoon she had gone on a tirade as only 13 year old girls can. Her eyes – that already have an eerie unknown color - were crackling. It wasn’t pretty.

Sunday after church we had some friends coming over for Thanksgiving Leftovers Lunch. It’s a sort of ceremonial event where we finally consume the rest of the turkey, gravy, stuffing, and other seasonal delicacies with friends to help us. Elizabeth kept glancing outside in hopes of catching any stray flakes falling into our yard. She was entertaining her friends as best she could but I knew her heart was elsewhere in the stratosphere of ice crystals and clouds. The sky responded and by the time the light had begun to dim there was enough snow on the ground for the kids to make a modest snowman and throw several snowballs at each other. Our porch was quickly laden with snow packed gloves, hats, coats and shoes. That night Elizabeth fell asleep under four layers of blankets and sleeping bags with the curtains drawn and the window opened widely letting the chilly air caress her face as she slept. Bill stepped in and closed the window tightly and pulled the curtains shut.

Our bedroom alarm sounded Monday morning and we opened our eyes to a magical winter wonderland of thick snow and crusty ice on the pavement. I lazily implored Bill to stay home from work. He scoffed at the idea of this minor skiff impeding his ability to navigate his way to the office. I understood well his thinking: he’s a Colorado native and quite skilled at winter driving. However, not all the drivers are as skilled as he. I checked wsdot and sure enough there were spinouts reported and some roads were closed. After considering this for a few moments and placing a call to his director - who also told him about the spinouts and road closures – Bill decided he would not be going to work.

We all stayed warm and cozy inside all morning and part of the afternoon. While the schools were closed, homeschool was still up and running. Periodically Elizabeth would ask, “Can I be done?” to which we replied consistently, “Not until you’re done.” I baked cookies while Murron and Ulie played with plush toys and Barbie dolls. Bill worked around the house. We were all biding our time, really, until the wind slowed and the snow cleared a bit before we decided to head out and make the most of it.

After Ulie awoke from his nap we all donned our warmest clothes and grabbed a sliding saucer and took to the hill. It’s just a little hill but it has enough slope to get up a nice speed. We all took our turns and eventually Ulie had had enough so I bundled him up, walked back home, and put on the kettle of water for cocoa. Not long afterward Bill and the girls followed. Murron’s rosy cold cheeks told me how she had thoroughly enjoyed herself and would have stayed longer if her dad and sister weren’t coming home.

Elizabeth looked every bit serene and thoughtful. Perhaps hoping she could have stayed longer as well. Maybe wondering how many more days of snow-filled fun she would have this winter. Or savoring this special moment in time when she was in her element with God’s blessing of the flakes, mounds, dustings, and drifts of snow.

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