Monday, February 9, 2015


        Here it is February. Brrrrr! I always think of February as the coldest month of the year. I don't know why, because it isn't. If it was we would say "as cold as molasses in February", but we don't. Maybe the cold bleakness of January, with the holidays in the past and nothing to look forward to except Groundhog Day, wears me down and convinces my subconscious that winter will never end. Maybe the fact that Punxsutawney Phil, with his promise of spring, prognosticates right at the beginning of February, makes me long for the warm sunshine that is still months away. Whatever the reason, I hate February and thank God it is the shortest month of the year. In fact, I am not real fond of winter in general, the only positives of that season being Christmas, fires in the fireplace, hot chocolate, warm slippers, and snow. Especially snow.

       We got some snow the other week. The whole Northeast got smacked with a blizzard that turned out to be not nearly as blizzardy as predicted, and my area, being just south of that region, was merely grazed by the storm. Good! I like snow, but only the scenic kind of snow, the kind where you sit at the window with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the flakes quietly falling as they cover the world with sparkling lace. You can keep the other kind of snow, the kind with deep piles, treacherous roads, downed power lines, and howling winds that shake the house and blow ice against the windows. In my area we get that kind too often. Storms come up from the south bringing warm moisture with them. They hit the Atlantic Ocean, pick up more moisture, freeze, swing around, and come barreling back down from the Northeast with high winds, burying us in ice and snow in what is affectionately known as a "Nor'easter". These are fine as long as you don't have anywhere to go, the power doesn't go out, your vinyl siding doesn't blow off, and you have all the essentials you will need for the next few days. Being retired from the work-a-day world I can just sit at home and enjoy the feeling of quiet isolation, but my husband can't do that. He is a shift supervisor for a chemical manufacturing plant that requires supervision at all times for the safety of the plant and the surrounding community. No matter how deep the snow is he has to go to work. Even when a state of emergency has been declared and people are being arrested for being on the roads, he has to sally forth. (They gave him a special waiver from the state that he can show the cops if they pull him over. Thanks for nothing!) So when we get a bad snowstorm it's stress, aggravation, and danger for him, and stress, aggravation, and worry for me. But, in this latest storm, the foot of snow predicted turned into only a couple of inches, and we could both relax. Even better than that, I got to take Kiley out in the snow. Hooray!

As soon as it became apparent that the snowstorm wasn't going to be something we had to worry about, I became excited about taking Kiley out in it. Showing them new things about the world is one of the great joys of having children in your life, and snow is enough of a rarity that even for older kids it's a great treat. The snowmen, the snowballs, cancelled school, the snow-forts, frozen creeks, sledding, the possibilities are endless!

This one looks even more dangerous than the sleds I rode as a kid...

        When I was a kid all of these things were fun, but sledding was at the top of the list. We lived in a neighborhood where all of the streets were hills and I mean serious hills. It was like living in the Alps or something. The parents hated it because getting the car up your street to your house when it snowed was always a dilemma, but we kids loved it for the sledding. When it snowed the streets would be full of kids and sleds, (not the plastic ones that you mostly see today, but the old wooden kind with metal runners). We would be out there all day and especially at night when the traffic had subsided and the inconvenient and possibly fatal encounters with cars abated. As teenagers we would be out until nine, or ten o'clock at night, even on school nights, sledding, and partying, and flirting with boys, and having a great time. I was kicking myself the other week when I realized I didn't have a sled to pull Kiley around in, poor planning that.

        The snow stopped early in the morning so I got Kiley ready and out we went. I didn't have her snowsuit, but it wasn't really that cold, so I just bundled her up leaving her pajamas on under her clothes for extra warmth, plus her coat, her mittens, and especially her hat. She has a pink hat with a kind of pom-pom on top of it that fastens under her chin and covers her ears and everything else except her face. She was snug as a bug and had a great time. We built a snowman, or rather I built a snowman though she did help with the eyes and nose. At just one year old she didn't really seem to grasp the concept. We named it Olaf after the snowman in the movie "Frozen". More fun for her was walking in the snow on the deck because of the crunching sound it made. She briefly became obsessed with clearing the snow off of the deck furniture and did a good job of that until she lost interest. We watched the squirrels scampering through the snow and feasting at the squirrel feeders for a while and threw snowballs at them and each other. After about forty-five minutes her cheeks were red so I figured it was time to go in. We shed our snow clothes, got some drinks, (tea for me, juice for her), and watched "Frozen" for the thousandth time.

        The day was actually quite warm and by the afternoon the snow had mostly melted. Olaf sagged and drooped more and more as the day went on until first his nose, then his arms, then his head fell off, leaving a pile of snow that was still not quite gone the next day after all of the other snow in the backyard had melted away. I realized that for real snow-fun Kiley needed a sled so I ordered one of those plastic ones on line. It arrived in the mail this morning. I can't wait for it to snow again.



  1. Hi! I'm visiting form Grandma's Briefs. I enjoyed reading your winter memories and the fun you had building a snowman with your grandchild. I live on the front range in Colorado and we are having a very mild winter so far. Our snow isso light and fluffy it is hard to build a snowman, but I hope to have this experience one day soon!

    1. Thanks for dropping by Pat. I hope you have some wet snow soon. That's what is needed for snowmen. Nan

  2. They ruin all the good road hills today with salt and sand!

    You reminded me of some good old days.

  3. In the past the unsalted roads were less convenient but far more fun. Those were the days.


  4. Listening to you describe Kiley's fun in the snow took me back to my own childhood when I liked snow -- then I grew up! I'll take southern California and mild 70s in the winter any day! Just dropping by from The GRAND Social!

  5. I'm with you Grandma. The older I get the less I like winter and the more I understand why Florida is so full of seniors. Nan