January 13, 2011
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.
WeHusband 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.
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
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!
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.
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…
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.
I walked around the neighborhood, taking pictures, breathing in the dry cold air, and couldn’t stop smiling.
I stopped to visit my grandmother, who lives two doors down, and found her house almost covered in snow drifts!
And a few more pictures of the Zoe-Girl and her mother… The snow was so bright, it almost blinded Zoe.
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…
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.
Maybe she knows something we don’t.
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!
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.
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!
[three out of four sisters]
So now I want to hear from YOU!
What’s 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.