January 13, 2011

  • Dreaming of White…


    The term “drafty old house” has taken on quite new meaning in the past few months. Houses in the south weren’t designed for cold. When we bought this house there was not one speck of insulation in the whole 1,500 square feet of it. Not one speck. We insulated all the outside walls and a few of the inside if we were working on/tearing out anyway, but the floor, which is wooden with a crawl-space under the house, has nothing. Nada.

    Which makes for very cold floors. VERY cold floors. Icy cold floors, when the weather outside is in the 30′s and lower, especially.  Which is why I wear socks AND slippers at all moments of every day, except in the shower. That’s understated, but just had to clarify. And try to convince all other occupants of the house that it’s in their best interest to wear slippers and socks as well. But despite her frigid little slipperless toes, Zoe somehow loves to go barefooted… until a violent shiver convinces her to do what I could not.

    But that is why, at the moment, I’m drinking a steaming cup of London Fog Tea. I was just introduced to it by my sister Ervina, and I was smitten immediately. You’d have to like black tea to enjoy it, which I do. I like my hot coffee in the morning, then tea in the afternoon, and sometimes tea in the evening as well. We do what we can to stay warm around here, even if the thermometer doesn’t go about 67 degrees. We Husband likes to be economical like that.


    But ah, London Fog Tea. Here’s the recipe, given by Ervina:
    1 Earl Grey tea bag, brewed in hot boiling water. 
    1 teaspoon raw sugar
    a bit of milk
    a few drops of vanilla extract

    Let steep for several minutes, and enjoy!


    Despite the cold weather, and as chilly as our fingertips stay
    (I really am not exaggerating with the interior weather of the cottage!),
    we are dreaming of snow.
    Dreaming is all we’ll ever do here, I’m afraid.
    Snow is as uncommon as the ocean is to a land-locked state.
    There are occassional flurries, which one almost needs a microscope to be able to see,
    but which the town will delightedly chatter about for weeks afterward.

    But almost every day, I kid you not,
    almost every day for the past, oh, at least month,
    Zoe’ will come to me and say,
    Mom, we should look at SNOW pictures!” 

    And so we do.

    I adore snow.
    Zoe’, with all the 3 times she’s ever seen snow, also adores snow.

    And since we don’t have snow of our own,
    we look at pictures of when we experienced snow.
    The two of us, a year ago…

    … A dear friend, Linda, and I were traveling up north before Christmas, gaining an extra week with our families before our husbands could get there. We were caught right in the middle of the Snowstorm of ’09  in the northeast. A trip that should have taken us 12 hours ended up taking us 22 hours. And we had 3 children, 2 and under. It was a long trip. It was a fun trip. :)

    This was Interstate 95, right around Washington D.C. The roads were terrible. Looking back, I can’t believe we made it okay. We drove at about 30mph or less for most of the trip, which made it seem to take forever to get anywhere! But the snow was absolutely gorgeous, especially to our snow-deprived eyes! Our husbands kidded us that the snowstorm was all our fault, because we had been hoping so desperately for snow when we went up north! We sure got it!

    All 18 inches of glorious white.

    Christmas 2009 018

    We arrived safely at our destination,
    with  many prayers of our husbands, families, as well as our own,
    after 22 hours.
    What memories were made!!

    We woke up the next morning,
    safe in a warm, cozy house
    to this:

    Christmas 2009 021

    It was a winter wonderland. And we were snowed in.
    I had only dreamt about things like that after moving away from the north several years ago,
    and here was the north at its finest. Zoe’ was enraptured, as was I.

    It was MAGICAL!

    Seriously, get me in some snow and I feel like a little kid.
    It takes 10 years off my face, if not more, and I start acting much younger than that! :)
    I think I need a little more of that kind of therapy to rid me of these
    much unwanted grey hairs I’m beginning to find upon my head!!

    As soon as we could get ready, Zoe and I
    [and a sweet photographer sister of mine,
    willing to brave the cold to capture us southern folk in snow]
    bundled up and stepped out into the wonderland.
    My heart races just remembering how fun this was, and it was over a year ago! :)

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    She didn’t know what to think at first, not even being able to walk!
    Poor child had no snow suit or boots – we were so not prepared.

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    By my parents’ barn, where I spent many an hour grooming my horse
    [that I had literally saved every penny for]
    when I was a teen…

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    Out into the open field!
    Thankfully I have a sister the same size as me, and I could borrow her snow clothes and look all in style. :)

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    I walked around the neighborhood, taking pictures, breathing in the dry cold air, and couldn’t stop smiling. :)


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    I stopped to visit my grandmother, who lives two doors down, and found her house almost covered in snow drifts!


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    And a few more pictures of the Zoe-Girl and her mother… The snow was so bright, it almost blinded Zoe.


    Christmas 2009 092

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    This week I was going out to run errands in town with the girls, getting everyone strapped in the car, and was just buckling in myself, when I heard a little voice in the backseat:

    “Mom? We should pray that we can live in a house where we’ll have lots of snow.”

    She had talked with her Papa and Nana that morning and heard that they had snow there through the night.
    we had looked at Snow Pictures that morning.

    What’s a parent to do with a request like that?
    We can’t just move a thousand miles north that easily,
    just to have a little snow.

    But I want my children to learn to talk with God about the things that matter to them,
    even if they’re somewhat impossible things

    So we stopped, and I held little hands [Olivia wanted to be included in the prayer too]
    and we prayed that maybe someday we could live in a house where we’ll have lots of snow…

    Christmas 2009 109

    Christmas 2009 111

    A daylater when Ben came home I told him that there had been 5 inches of snow where my parents lived! I was being very melodramatic, him knowing I was fully in jest and fully in earnest :) and ended with
    “I wish we could have snow too!”

    Zoe was watching and piped in very seriously and emphatically:
    “Mom, don’t cry! [that was part of my melodrama in jest]
    Remember we’re going to live in a house
    by Papa and Nana
    [that part was added by her, we didn't pray that]
    and we’ll have LOTS OF SNOW!
    Remember? So don’t cry!”

    I burst out laughing.
    And also felt a bit, okay, a LOT unsure of how to respond to her!
    In her little mind, this is real!
    We prayed, it’s going to happen!
    So she thinks.
    And believes.

    Maybe she knows something we don’t.
    Maybe not.
    Maybe we’ll just have snow when we head up north this weekend
    and that’ll satisfy her snow-hunger.
    Maybe she’ll have to learn to trust God
    even when it’s not what she prayed for.

    But that’s been our precious little interchange this week!

    Christmas 2009 113


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    Ahh, such lovely memories a little snow can make! We both love to go back and look at these pictures. And we smile. And smile. And smile…

    One of my favorite snow memories of all time is a HUGE snowstorm we had when I was a kid growing up. I can’t remember my exact age, I’m thinking around 10-12 maybe? But we had 3 feet of snow at one time. It was incredble! We were snowed in for 2-3 days before any plows came by our road [we were usually one of the last roads in the county to get plowed]. I was always sooooo excited when we got snowed in, because we’d drink hot chocolate by the gallons, play games, read lots of books, and just have so much fun together as a family!

    On this particular time, after a day or so, my sister Jana and I decided we had had enough of being inside. We were going to go walking. We were such little squirts, I don’t know what we were thinking, but we bundled up in all our fluffy glory, looking twice our size in width, and out into the snow we went. It was a glorious wonderful wonderland! Glorious!

    We headed down the unplowed road, since we at least knew we wouldn’t stumble over corn stalks like we would in the fields. But 3 feet of snow for an 8 and 10 year old to walk through was hard. We walked a half mile down to some huge drifts which were much higher than 3 feet, where we made tunnels in the snow and huge caves.

    And then suddenly we were tired. REALLY tired. And cold. We had bundled well, but we had walked farther than we expected to and there was a cold wind blowing. We sank into one of our caverns for a while, and finally decided we needed to get back home and have some hot chocolate before we froze to death. You know the cold where you can hardly talk because your lips are almost frozen? It feels really wierd. And looks even wierder. But that’s coooooooooold.

    We headed back the 1/2 mile to our house, and I remember wondering how in the world we were going to make it. Every step took so much energy, and we didn’t have energy anymore. The snow came almost to our waists (the wind had blown some of it in drifts so it wasn’t all 3 feet everywhere) and it took such effort to walk even a few feet.

    I, being the big sister, knew my little sis was extrememly tired, and so didn’t let on how tired I actually was too. I tried to encourage her, and we kept on trudging.
    Breathing hard.
    Stopping to rest and flop down on the drifts.

    We had been gone several hours, and f.i.n.a.l.l.y made it back home. We were wiped out. So completely tired and exhausted.

    But we did it! We kept on walking and we made it home. Safely. No emergency rescue needed.

    And looking back, that is one of my all-time favorite snow memories!

    Christmas 2009 198

    [three out of four sisters]

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    So now I want to hear from YOU!
    your favorite snow memory?

    [you don't need a xanga site to comment]

    I’d love to hear!

    I’m out for the weekend, and when I get back I hope to have
    snow stories to read. :)



Comments (25)

  • I love how you are such a little kid about the snow.

    We get so much snow around here that I am afraid that I have lost the wonder of it all. Totally!

    But it is pretty. If you can just sit inside and look out at it.

    My favorite snow memory??  The one that comes to my mind is VERY recent. From the other day when Nikki and I were outside with our heads tilted back and our tongues out, catching snowflakes on our tongues.

    Honestly, I think I have more un-favorite memories of snow than favorite.  Because there are quite a few that involve going in the ditch, getting stuck, and the one time I got caught in a TERRIBLE March blizzard. Out on the roads with two little kids. 

    Anyway, loved seeing your pictures and reading your post.  You have beautiful hair!  And super white teeth! What is your secret to that?

  • I love snow to, even if I’m from the south originally:) keep praying, you just might get your wish, especially after SC just got hammered with 7 inches!! I’ve said already that i think God is having some fun with this whole global warming thing;)

  • So loved this post and your picture and wish I could box up some snow and send it to you! Even with that it would not be the same. I adore snow. It is a beauty of God and brings a quiet and sereneness even as it sparkles. Nothing quite as white as snow either….the blinding radiance of it at times reminds me of cherished pieces of scripture hidden in my heart. So many wonderful memories of snow…. sliding down the gulleys trying our best to avoid overhanging trees and going down the big hill by our house on the car hood praying that we wouldn’t meet a vehicle. Last year during a heavy snow fall I went out and hid under a pine tree and was caught up in my own Narnia world as I watched it come down… thinking about it made me have to go look it up on my blog….. http://rugbana.xanga.com/722359793/lots-of-snow/

  • I wish I could give you our snow- I’d gladly give it all to you!  I do think it’s beautiful but I have had enough.  I have realized that I usually want what I don’t have.  Last winter when we lived in Valdosta, I remember looking at a blog with two women dressed in adorable winter coats, hats, and scarves and wishing I could wear cute winter things.  Now, living in a colder climate, I am craving warm weather and sunshine!  Maybe the Lord is trying to teach me contentment???

    My favorite snow memory~ the excitement of waking up, walking downstairs, and seeing the ground covered in snow, knowing we wouldn’t have school!

  • Love your pictures and your wonderful memories of snow!

  • First of all I love to read your blog and look at your pictures. When I woke up this morning to an other foot of fresh snow I actually thought of you…. ya I know thats kinda weird since I dont know you, but you have talked about missing snow before.
    I have lots of favorite snow memories since we get so much snow but I remember once being snowed in for about a week when I was 11 no school, no church just lots of snow and all day to play. The joys of being a kid. I dont know if it would be so fun now that I have two little children of my own. (getting them dressed and undressed) we didnt have electric for about 10 days over that time I remember waking up and mom would have the old cook stove going so we could get dressed by it to stay warm and she would make soup, bread and hot chocolate for when we came in. Thinking back it probably wasnt a fairy tale for her but my memories feel like something out of a storybook.

  • It makes me cold just reading this post!  I’m with you as far as the socks and slippers go.  We don’t have a stitch of carpeting in our house so our floor is COLD.  As soon as my feet are dry enough after stepping out of the shower I have my slippers on.  I will definitely be trying that tea.  Earl Grey is the BEST!

  • Oh your blog made me realize that inspite of the cold you still can make memories:) Lately with all of our snow I just cant see beyond the coldness of it. But youve given me a new ‘spirit’ to bring out the hot chocolate n story books! I cant think of any particular snow story but as a child we always had a blast in the snow and would come in freezing cold with lots of ‘tales’ to tell mom:)

  • Yum that tea sounds good.  I am a big tea drinker, and will definitely try that recipe!
    I loved seeing your pictures, you are so very, very pretty!!!
    I love snow too. I will think about a good snow story and then get back to you before the weekend is over. =)

    We live on a street named South too….I might have told you that before???
    Anyway, I’ll be back!
    Have a fun weekend.

  • I am not a snow lover at. all! But… there is always that thing called fond memories and a few of those include snow. :) Barreling around on a 3 wheeler, pulling an old car hood for a sled and flying thru the air around the corners. There was also the magical nights of ice skating on the pond and huddling by the fire to warm up… I think memories make everything a bit more glorious! :)

  • Well hardly ever having snow, every time we get some it’s a snow memory :) I think the best one was when it snowed on Easter about 4 years ago and my sister, brother, and their spouses were here. After making snow ice cream and our electricity going out, and snowball fights, my dad hooked up 3 giant tree pots to the avt gator and we had the rides of our lives. It was so much fun! Something that will go down in history!

  • Living in So. California we have to drive to the mountains for snow…but we do most every year. I have a lot of favorite memories…but these three stand out.
    ~Waking up in a cabin in the mountains, the snow was glittering and beautiful, we thought it was morning but it was just the moon on the snow, my Dad told us to go back to bed!
    ~ Taking our boys to the mountains for Thanksgiving with the whole family and having it start snowing, seeing their faces lifted up with their tongues out.
    ~ Living in Switzerland for a year when I was 13, and getting to LIVE in a snowy land, walk in the snow, and go skiing for PE classes.

    Loved seeing you and your little girl out enjoying the snow! Great pictures.

  • I am with you on the snow! I LOVE fresh snow… it makes me feel like a little kid again. I have always loved it and I hope to never move to a place where it never snows. One of my many good memories of snow is when i was probably 5 or maybe 6 …. we lived in NYC with my uncles. We went to Va for a week. while there it snowed bunches … it was beautiful, city snow was not beautifeul and we had no yard to go out and play in it anyways. Mom (or Aunt Carolyn), who ever was driving the van pulled into a gas station for fuel … and I can’t remember how long we were the … not long but we decided to make Arlin the Statue of liberty! It was hilarious. Never mind that he couldn’t get out when it was time to go, never mind that mom & aunt carolyn had to dig him out, never mind that we were in trouble for a week. It was awesome!

    I hope you are blessed wit hsome snow someday soon! =)

  • we didn’t have alot of snow in Hamilton, so we decided to have a ‘snow fight’ inside. it was so much fun. we had a huge bag of cotton puffs (that is for taking off makeup, found at a makeup or pharmacy store) and then started throwing it at each other, “washing” eachothers faces with snow, stuffing it in shirts and stuff. it was great fun and not cold and yet a bit like a snow fight. i know its not as exciting as the actual coming true of your daughters beautiful dreams but it might be fun to incorporate it in your home!

    we have lots of snow up here in Ontario. we had up to 5 feet in 24 hours back in Novemeber. closed down the schools, and the city and we’re used to snow ;) but now its just coming every so often. perhaps i shall try to post some lovely snow pictures for you. and i’m glad that you ladies made it safely in that blizzard of ’09. there was another one in ’10 up in NY/Connecticut this year, but thankfully no one we knew got caught in it.

  • aww! such a sweet post! are you going to be here for the weekend? maybe i’ll see you, and maybe not…sick children again, but…..

    the thing that i got stuck on was Zoe`’s praying and believing! so sweet! and, since i just had an exchange with my kiddos similar to that this morning, it especially tugs at my heartstrings! the prayers of a child…oh, i need faith and trust like they have!

    snow memories? sooo many for me too! some of my fondest as a child were of our family going to the back of our farm and hiking up our Big hills and piling on the tobagan and zooming downward….we’d have parties with friends from church where we’d sled for hours and then come in for hot chocolate… other memories are from my days in Northern Ontario. now THAT is some snow up there! but, i LOVED it soo much!

    hoping wherever you spend this weekend, you get to experience and delight in some of this beautiful white stuff God sends down from the heavens!!

  • My favorite snow memories are from when I was a teenager (somehow I have not learned the joy of being on snowy hills with two year olds to carry). :) There was a HUGE long hill right next to our house that was the neighborhood sledding hotspot. So everytime there was snow our neighbor would pack a track with a tractor then that night we had a big bonfire, lots of intertubes, and get this (!) truck service to bring us back up the hill. We were spoiled and happy and had tons of fun. Except for the time I had a brain concussion. Those really were the fun days of snow.

  • One of my favorite snow memories?  The exact story you wrote about in this post!!  That really was an unforgetable trip, and I’ll always look back on it with fond, fond memories!(:  Hope you’re getting lots of snow in OH!!

  • I loved snow as a kid but somehow every year i dread winter a bit more…. just get tired of the cold mostly and all the clothes that need to go on before  you can head out the door.  We did have a winter picnic this year and it was a total blast…. huge fire, hotdogs, hotchocolate, skating, full moon… so very lovely and a memory i’m pretty sure our boys will never forget.

    Skating, tubing/sledding/tobaganing parties and coming in for hot chocolate and cookies were always BIG winter activities.  And i have to add this even though it’s so funny… going down on a sled with a guy you had a crush on was like the biggest thrill of the night. ah, embaressing now but yep, i was like that. 

    My sister is just like you though…. thrives on snow and winter.  Like totally becomes alive.  I just don’t understand but i love seeing it in people.  :)

  • gorgeous pictures. i too love the magic of now. winter is my favorite season. :) :)
    my fav snow memories is all the times we have snow days and we either go as a family or with friends to the local chinese restaurant. we eat rice and talk and have such a blast. it`s now a tradition…

  • @appalolly - 

         A secret to white teeth? I’ve used crest whitestrips in the past, but they are so expensive, and I’ve since been using something we found on ebay, a mouth “plate” of some kind, and then dental-type of whitening which does NOT hurt my teeth like crest whitestrips did, but which whiten so much faster. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it was only a fraction of the cost. $10 or so for several months supply.

    @druett - I think, too, that God is having fun embarassing all the global warming people!! :)

    @rugbana - That was DELIGHTFUL!! Loved the part about sledding on a car hood and hoping a car doesn’t go by! That’s some adventure! And the Narnia world… sounds enchanting!

    @aretheyallyours - You used to live in Valdosta? That’s only 2 hours from us! And yes, I know about envying all the northern women with their cute winter coats and hats and scarves. :)

    @MeLisa - Oh, your story was just the best! A fresh foot of snow the morning you read this post, and then the fairy-tale story about when you were a little girl! I can’t imagine how you survived without electricity for 10 days!! Thanks so much for giving your snow story!

    @onehappymomma - so you know I am NOT exaggerating about a cold house!! :)

    @kyprincesss - I wish I could experience some of your snow! And yes, I remember all those stories to tell mom! So much fun!

    @Elizabethmarie_1 - I want to hear your favorite story. :) Because I know you surely must have one with all the lovely snow I see in your pictures!! :)

    @madisonsmom2 - Ice skating – yes yes!!! I remember getting SO cold but having SO much fun…. And feeling like I surely in the days of “Little Women.” :)

    @redladybug18 - That sounds like an absolutely BLAST! We used to ride our four-wheeler in the snow too. So much fun!

    @ABAHM - That moon on snowy winter nights is absolutely magical!! And you lived in Switzerland for a year?!!!!!! And skiing for PE?! What a story to tell your kids! :)

    @The_Carpers - Funny story! And I love your love for snow too. :) Seems like some people either love it or don’t like it at all!

    @mytoesareblue - That’s hilarious, the cotton balls for a “snowball” fight!! That’s a great idea! :) And you seriously had 5 feet of snow at one time?! No kidding it shut everything down!!

  • @foreveranoatneygirl - 

    And winter tobagganing… Oh, I LOVED that! As long as there were some adult men present to pull it back up the hill. :) Canada in the winter… I’ve visited once or twice during that season, and it’s amazing. I can’t imagine how fun it would be to live there for the whole winter! Ben thinks I’m crazy, but I have often told him I’ve love to live in Canada at least for a whole winter, just for the snow. :) And yes, we did have snow in Ohio!!! :)

    @smilesbymiles - Brain concussion?? Yikes, I probably wouldn’t be a fan of the snow AT all had that happened to me! And truck service to pull you back up the hill! Now THAT is the way to go! :)

    @erlinyoder - One of my VERY favorites too. :) And yes, we did have snow! Not fresh, but there was still about 6 inches on the ground. And it was WHITE!! :)

    @singingrachel - Oh, I laughed at you!! Yes, what a thrill INDEED! :) )) And a winter picnic?! I haven’t thought of those in years! We used to do that when we went ice skating!

    @baileyandme - Yes, we would go out to eat too, at the Bird! Memories turned into traditions are just too wonderful…

  • I would love if you would forward to me the brand or name of that tooth whitening stuff you use, when you get a chance!


  • Let’s see, my Favorite snow story….Hmmmmm!
    I’ve been trying to think of a good one.  I have lots of snow stories to tell!  I’ll just have to pick one…. I think this is my favorite.

    Jeff and I were newlyweds, only married a couple of years.  Tyler was a baby.  We went to Jeff’s parent’s house for New Year’s Day, (his mom always has a big dinner on the first). They lived a little over an hour away at the time.  It was getting really late, and the weather was bad, freezing rain, slippery streets. His mom was very serious about making us spend the night!  It was crumby out, so we decided to heed her warnings.  When we woke up the next morning, it was snowing…really heavy. There were blizzard warnings and the news was telling people not to go out if they didn’t have to.
    Being the “invincible” newlyweds that we were, we decided to brave the weather!  Our one hour drive took us over 4 hours!  It didn’t matter to us though, we drove slow and just enjoyed the ride.  When we got home to our little apartment, the snow was really deep, and it was so windy, difinitely blizzard conditions.  They started shutting everything down…even church was cancelled!  (When they shut things down by us, you know it’s a serious snow storm!)
    For the next two days our little family was all snowed in together!  It was so fun, so cozy and so romantic!  ….I loved that snow storm! =)

    Now I love when it snows because I love to see my kids get all excited!
    I feel bad you have to miss out, and wish I could send you a snowman!!! =)

  • @appalolly - same here! i don’t even know what triggered this whole thing, but when i saw your reply to Audrey, i was intrigued…whitestrips Hurt my teeth too, and something that would whiten without pain and for a fraction of the cost? would love to know of it!

  • @appalolly - 

    @foreveranoatneygirl - 

    I’m just sending you a link from ebay with what I’ve used. I’m not sure if the mouth trays come with it or not – you might want to ask the seller. If you don’t use this seller, just search “Teeth Whitening Gel” and make sure you’re getting  36% carbamide peroxide. The whitening strips you buy in stores normally has less than 5% peroxide, so that is why this is so much faster. And somehow it’s way cheaper too. Hope it works for you!


    @Elizabethmarie_1 - That is quite the story!! Loved it! Somehow it seems like most of the favorite snow stories have at least a bit of danger or adventure about them. :) Thank you!!

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