Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Best. Day. Ever.

Many of my best childhood memories revolve around snowy, wintry weather. Sledding, ice skating, ice boating, building snowmen, having snowball fights, making snow ice cream. (I even enjoy shoveling.) Bundling up in snow pants and scarves...and then removing layer after layer as our bodies warmed. Playing outside for hours, even after our mittens dripped wet from melted snow and our socks slouched down into the toes of our boots. F...i...n...a...l...l...y coming inside to thaw our fingers and toes by the fire and warm our insides with hot chocolate. I have done my best to help Will and Hallie create these kinds of memories during our holiday visits to Nebraska, Illinois, and Wisconsin, but until our first real snow in Texas three years ago, I could never have imagined how happy it would make me to see them creating these memories in - or outside of - their own home. 

Three years ago we experienced one of our best nights ever here in Texas. A sudden and unexpected snowstorm turned into that most amazing night, and when we woke up the following morning I thought to myself, "well, that's it. Mother Nature will never again gift us such an incredible experience here in Texas". Turns out I was wrong - Mother Nature would again gift us such an incredible experience here in Texas. 

Two weeks ago we experienced one of our best days ever here in Texas. A slightly less sudden and slightly less unexpected - but just as glorious - snowstorm turned into that most amazing day, and even spilled over into the next day, giving us our first legitimate snow day.

Northerners, don't come at me with your "how can five inches of snow result in a snow day?!" You're preaching to the choir. (And to someone who used to regularly walk a mile to school in a foot of snow - my mom can vouch for me on that.) But down here we have no resources or tools - NOTHING - to combat bad weather and its impact on the roads: no plows, no salt trucks, no sand trucks. And because it only snows every few years at best, no one knows how to drive in it. 

A few weeks ago, I shared Hallie's letter to Santa here on the blog. She asked for 1) Tux to have a good Christmas (he shared his space with A LOT of kittens this year), 2) a 3D pen, and 3) snow. (She also asked Santa to help life return to normal, but acknowledged that this might not fall under his jurisdiction.) Santa delivered for Tux and on the 3D pen, but couldn't come through for Hallie on either fixing the world or covering the ground with a blanket of white. After seeing Hallie's disappointment when she looked outside on Christmas morning and saw only brown, dormant grass, the pure joy on her face when she finally saw her Christmas present falling from the sky was enough to make anyone believe in Santa.

For two days straight (and into the third day) she played outside, coming in only for me to dry...and redry...and redry...her coat, snow pants, hat, and mittens and for an occasional mug of hot chocolate. As I type, we're on day three - the snow is melting rapidly in the midday sun - and she's out there again, building a snow cat by herself and occasionally chatting with the elderly couple walking around the block. (One of the benefits of virtual school...)

We made snowmen and snow angels, built snow forts and had snowball fights, went for walks, attempted sledding, and made snow ice cream.

Perhaps most importantly (and what I imagine long-time readers might be wondering)...yes, we made snow angels in our swimsuits. 

Yep, I said "2020" in the video. I of course meant "2021".
Also, my apologies for the quality of the video. Turns out 
it's pretty hard to make swimsuit snow angels and film the
activity at the same time. 

Best. Day. Ever. For Hallie, but for the rest of us as well. Thanks, Mother Nature. 

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