Like A Child

Sometimes I enjoy a good snowfall.  My living room has a gas fireplace and a large picture window, which makes it especially nice for sitting in a cozy armchair and watching the big fluffy snowflakes gently falling to the ground.  It’s an incredibly relaxing experience, and almost always leaves me with a lovely feeling of comfort and peace.

Unfortunately, not all Winter weather delivers in the comfort and peace department.  Early last week, the local weather forecasters predicted what could be our worst snow storm in over a decade, if not a century.  Depending on which TV channel I watched, I learned that we could get up to four hours of freezing rain, followed by several inches of sleet, topped off with twenty-plus inches of snow.  Like almost everyone else, I dutifully trotted off to the grocery store to stock up on supplies.  Then I checked that my emergency stash of candles and flashlight batteries was adequate and asked my husband to make sure we had gasoline for the generator,  (And tried not to worry too much when he told me he wasn’t even sure our generator still worked.)

When it finally hit, the Winter storm wasn’t nearly as bad as predicted.  We managed to skip the freezing rain altogether, and had only about an inch of sleet.  Sleet can be dangerous, but it’s not nearly as slippery as ice and it also doesn’t bring down power lines.  And while we did get plenty of snow, eight inches is a lot better than twenty.

I was happy that we were spared the “storm of the decade,” but I can’t say that I managed to enjoy this snowfall.  We never did get big fluffy snowflakes, but we did get lots of wind, very cold temperatures and stiff muscles from shoveling our sidewalks and driveway.  And I can only say that I must have had my mind on other things when I stocked up on groceries, because once we were snowed in I discovered that I was missing a few essentials.  (It’s really hard to make tuna casserole without tuna, or home-made pizza without cheese.)  As far as I was concerned, this snowstorm was just something to be endured.

981CD5CD-BD3A-43F4-BD75-A6FA657AC41ABut then I started getting texts from my daughter, complete with pictures of my grandson out enjoying the snow, as children do.  He went sledding, built a snowman and even “helped” with the shoveling.  At four, he’s far too young to listen to weather reports, but he sure knows how to have fun in the snow.  And thankfully, that reminded me that not everyone saw the recent snowfall through my jaded eyes.


I hope I can always remember just how much it helps to see the world from someone else’s point of view now and then.  I hope I can remember that what’s an inconvenience to me might also my granddaughter’s first chance to play in the snow.  Because sometimes, all we need to do to brighten our mood is try to see things through the eyes of a child……

Snow Days For The Middle Aged

DSC00116 First of all, let me say that I know that heavy snowfalls can cause a lot of problems for a lot of people.  Travelers stranded at the airport, or even worse, stuck in a ditch by the highway on a freezing cold day, have a legitimate reason to complain about the snow.  So do farmers who have to tend to their animals, no matter what the weather.  And when a snowstorm stops me from going on a vacation I have looked forward to for months, I am the first to complain bitterly about it to anyone who will listen.  I have a nephew who works for the State Highway Department, so I know just how much extra work heavy snowfalls create, and I am incredibly grateful for the work he and his crews do to clear the roads so the rest of us can get where we need to go.  (Thank you, Jason!)

Even so, I have to admit that I still really, really like snow.   Few things are nicer than sitting in my living room with a fire going in the fireplace, watching out the picture window as the big, fluffy flakes drift gently to the ground.  And once the snow begins to accumulate, the world is transformed, if only temporarily, to a gorgeous winter wonderland.  I always think that a snow-covered landscape gives us just a little glimpse of how the world is supposed to be: beautiful, peaceful and unspoiled.

Beyond that, a really heavy snow brings the gift of a “snow day,” which to me, means an often unexpected gift of a day off from my daily routine of the usual worries and demands.  A snow day means I get the luxury of temporarily ignoring my “to do” list, leaving the car in the garage rather than heading off to run those important errands, not going to the Humane Society to walk the dogs, etc.   It means simply accepting that the world will get along just fine without me, if only for the next twenty-four hours.  A snow day offers a chance to relax and regroup, to be a bit selfish and focus on just me, and to recharge my batteries for the days ahead.

Maybe that’s why, even now that I am well into my middle age, I still get a little thrill when I hear a prediction of heavy snow in the forecast, just the way I did when I was a child and a snow day meant a welcome break from school.  I guess, for those who are lucky enough to enjoy them, we’re never too old to need a good, old-fashioned “snow day.”