Snow Day Every Day

As the sun began to set, and the cooler weather blew in bringing forth the end of another day, I had a pain in my heart.   One could suppose, in light of all of this winter weather (we measured just over 8 inches at our house), my pain could be the sign of a heart attack.   Fortunately, we don’t own a snow shovel, nor do we bother with shoveling snow.   We just stay home and take full advantage of our once a year snow heaven from God.

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Last night; however, for the first time ever, I was actually saddened by the thought of warmer weather.   I had an ache for a continuation of our weekend, easily one of the best we’ve had as a family in a while.   It’s not that we aren’t family focused.    The majority of what we do, my husband and I, revolves our family and what we can do together.   We hike, we bike, we do puzzles, watch movies, and read.

This past weekend, though, was a whole different scene.

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When I was a child, we were given one chance per day to play in the snow.   My mother was of the cleanliness variety and preferred to NOT clean up after her kids all the time.   I can recall begging to go out, and while she would let us, we knew that it was a one shot deal.   I had a wonderful childhood, so please don’t read into this as me complaining, but like every parent, I want my children to have more.

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Friday, my husband worked from home, which meant I needed to keep our boys away from him.   I did so by taking them out in the two inches of snow we had at that point.   Snow down South is a novelty.   It’s a once a year phenomenon that’s usually here today and gone tomorrow, so you have to take advantage of it when it’s here.   Even if that means, playing in the two inches while it is also sleeting.   Yep.   Did that.   Did my boys have fun?  You betcha they did.

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Saturday morning found us back outside after a night of over six inches of heavy snowfall.   It was a winter wonderland to say the least.    Two years ago, we received a few inches of snow.   Henry was a mere 2 months old, unable to really understand what was going on.   Davey was three and loved it.   Last year we had another snowfall with a few inches.   Once again Davey was in heaven.   Henry?  Not so much.   This year was a whole different story.

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My boys ran, they made snow angels, built a snowman, went sledding (even with mom here, who had never been sledding a day), made snow balls, and crawled around.   Speaking of crawling around, my dear sweet Henry seemed to fashion himself as a WWII Allied soldier, as he belly crawled through the snow covered Ardennes.   Seriously, he belly crawled a LOT.

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My husband came out with us, so daddy joined in on the fun.   We would spend a couple of hours outside, come in for hot chocolate and a snack, then go back out for another round.   Nothing much we could do other than sit inside and watch tv, and we could do that any old day of the week.   We can’t always enjoy this stuff and I guess that’s what makes me a bit sad.

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I’m sad that this little piece of paradise will be gone soon.   I’m sad that the boys won’t have it anymore.   I want them to soak it all in (and they’ve done that both literally and figuratively).   I loved seeing their faces, eyes wide with shock at the sight of all this white stuff.   I laughed along with them as they belly laughed while sledding down the hill.   I didn’t think about the next day or the day after (which I do a LOT since I’m a planner).   I didn’t think about what we were going to eat or how much longer we were going to be outside.   I couldn’t think about anything except that moment, each moment, when we were making memories.

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For me, there never seems to be enough hours in the day.   There is laundry to be done, a house to be cleaned, exercises, a dog, dishes, dinners to prepare, school work, you name it.   There is always something in a day that doesn’t get done because there’s not enough time, and a lot of times I let those trivial things interfere with our moments, but not this weekend.

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We’ll head back into reality tomorrow, as the boys must go back to school, but for right now I want them to relish this time.   I want to hear their laughs, watch their adventures (they are snow warriors), and I want to time stamp and remember these very moments.   I suppose that’s my pain I’m feeling.   I suppose it’s the realization that another day, or days in this case, is in the history books, that my boys are days older, that one day this snow won’t hold the same level of excitement for them as it did this weekend.  I’m hoping I still have a couple of years, but one never knows.

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As I write this blog, I’ve decided to take a break and let them play by themselves in the backyard.   They’ve piled up snow two feet high at the foot of their slide and are now sliding into it.   They laugh and I can’t help but laugh and literally there is nothing else more important for me than this moment.

So, yeah, I’ll take a snow day every day.   I’m probably one of the few stay at home moms who feels this way.

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Christmas Tree Hunt

On the second day in Rochester, Grammy said to us, “let’s go cut down a Christmas tree.”

Kunz's Christmas Tree Farm.
Kunz’s Christmas Tree Farm.

We awoke to a cold and blustery morning, but no snow, much to Davey’s dismay.   By mid morning, we trekked through Kunz’s Christmas Tree Farm near Penfield, NY in search of a tree for Grammy’s house.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually sought out a live Christmas tree and on a farm no less.   Live trees are cumbersome, they’re messy, they require regular maintenance, and you’re cleaning up their needles for the next year, but they’re also fresh, aromatic, and even romantic.

Row upon row of uncut trees.
Row upon row of uncut trees.

The last time I had a live Christmas tree, I was in Charleston, SC in 2001.  The last time I hiked through the woods of a tree farm, my brother was five years old, I was 11, and my mother was miserable.   29 years later, and I’m searching for a tree.

The boys perusing the pre cut trees.
The boys perusing the pre cut trees.

What did we want?   We listened to the owner discuss when he’d planted trees, how many he’d already cut, the fact that we were early or perhaps he was late, and which tree would be best to meet the criteria we had.   There was blue spruce, douglas fir, fraser fir, pine, and a few others.   We were given a cart and a hack saw, we were definitely getting back to the adventure and reality of getting a Christmas tree.

Henry helping Daddy and Grammy.
Henry helping Daddy and Grammy.

My husband led the group, my father-in-law complained about the fact that my mother-in-law had two perfectly good fake trees in storage, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law chaperoned the boys who were nearly bundled up beyond recognition.

Davey helping Daddy with bring the tree around.
Davey helping Daddy with bring the tree around.

We walked a few hundred yards, inhaling the crisp western NY cold air.   Mother Nature was definitely playing her role in the whole “Doser Family Searches for Tree” scene.

Henry off for the hunt.
Henry off for the hunt.

There was every tree imaginable…full ones; short ones; tall ones; fat, tubby ones; and even ones that resembled the pitiful tree from a Charlie Brown Christmas.   After very little debate we landed on a tree.  What kind?  I couldn’t possibly tell you and I was quickly losing faith in the young lad who attempted to tell us.   He looked over the tree, stroked its needles with his gloved hand, before taking off his glove and rubbing the needles.   He closed his eyes for a moment, as if willing the tree to speak to him through osmosis of the needles.   I chuckled and had to walk away, no offense to any of you “tree whisperers” out there.

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My husband gallantly and a bit exhaustingly, I might add, cut down the tree, loaded it onto the cart, and trucked it off.   The entire event took a mere 30 minutes of our time, but was truly an enjoyable experience.   Davey created a song to the tune of “Going on a Bear Hunt”, while Henry did his best to keep up on the walk.

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Day two of Thanksgiving in Rochester is in the history books.   Day two of the excitement and adventure that surrounds the worlds of Grammy and Aunt Dee Dee.   Day two of my boys truly being the most well behaved little angels I never thought I had.  🙂

 

Winter Wonderland

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The snow flakes began falling, light little flakes of dandruff from the clouds. We’d seen it before, nothing spectacular, but still a beautiful sight.

Slowly the ground began to transform into a crystal layer of white fluffiness. It looked like a powdery sugar goodness. The branches of the pine trees were beginning their acrobatics of swaying in the wind and somersaulting to the ground. They dramatically bowed after each little gust of wind, sweeping the snowy wonderland under their tips.

At first, Davey wasn’t impressed. He didn’t like snow, or so he claimed. We all know better. He was just being difficult, contradicting every thing we said. Henry; however, stared out the sliding glass doors onto the deck now covered in snow. With each passing moment, the flakes became bigger, each one a unique little gift from heaven. What a magical site for the kids and I found myself sitting alongside Henry, watching the flakes fall softly to the ground. What was he thinking? Was he comprehending what he was seeing? Man, I wish I could be inside his mind, to see the wheels turn.

Davey eventually warmed up to the snow, an irony in itself. We drove down the road and he was mesmerized with the plows, their huge shovels hooked to the trucks. What were these machines with their added mechanical arms and why were there so many on the roads? He watched the people pushing their snowblowers. He sat for minutes watching the machine till up the snow and then shoot it out feet into the air. How exciting!

The best side effect to the snow, though, was how just its sheer sight encouraged my boy to WANT to take a nap. If he napped, he concluded, then he could go outside and play it in. How right he was because two and a half hours later, a good nap under his belt, Davey was pulling on his snow boots and snow pants for an afternoon adventure that rivaled anything he could experience down south.

The snow was still coming down when we went outside. The flakes were changing from small to large and the wind had begun gusting more. When Davey set his first foot into the snow he let out the loudest giggle as the snow came up to his knee! He stepped in with another foot and once again, the snow engulfed his knee! So much snow! So much beauty and so many things to do! We made snowballs, at least to the best of our ability with the light, powdery flakes. Davey tried running and found that it was like having a weight tied around you. He couldn’t go as fast and had to raise his legs higher.

We made snow angels. We stood tall, our arms held out to our sides, and fell backwards into the cushion of snow. We laid there, letting the snowflakes touch our lashes. It was marvelous. I snapped pictures as Davey and his daddy tossed snowballs at each other. I smiled when he wanted to help shovel the driveway (always wanting to be like his daddy). Most of all, my heart was content as Davey played.

It’s a hard time to be away from family especially at Christmas. I’m grateful that if my husband’s family must live so far away, they live in a place that provides my children an adventure that they otherwise wouldn’t have. I’m thankful we get this opportunity to be with them and I praise The Lord for providing His wonderful beauty for my boys to see.

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