Good morning! How was your weekend? It didn't get as warm as they were predicting here on Saturday, but it was still a great day to get outside for a walk. So we headed to our local State Park and did about a five-mile loop through the woods, over bridges, down to Beaver Lake, and back up and around. Here are some photos of our adventure:
Yesterday did get as warm as they predicted so Tommy was out playing hockey and spinning around on his bike while Annabel and I tried to keep up. It really was a beautiful...January...day. But you know what all this warm weather makes me think of?
Do you like snow? In my experience, most people have a very strong opinion of the stuff...they either love it, or they hate it. For instance: my parents. My mom loves snow, and my dad hates it. And really, hate might not be a strong enough word for how my dad feels about it. He really hates it.
But me? I love it. I don't have any one "first snow" memory from when I was growing up. Instead, I have a bunch of little snippets of memories, and I get progressively older in each one. When I think back, I have flashes of my mom bundling us up in front of the heater in the kitchen...making snowmen families with my parents and sisters..."helping" my dad shovel the sidewalk and clean the cars off...sopping wet mittens and freezing fingers...making snow angels...trying to catch snowflakes on my tongue...sledding at the elementary school...making snow ice cream...standing in front of the heater in the kitchen while my mom peeled off our wet layers...drinking hot chocolate and watching the snow fall...seeing the top of the heater piled high with damp gloves and hats and scarves. In every one of these memories, when I see my younger self running and playing in the snow, there's always a big smile on my face.
Although I can't remember my first ever true experience with snow, I do remember the exact moment that I realized how much I love the stuff: the blizzard of '93. The sky opened up and dumped over two feet of snow on our little Pennsylvania town, and as it was coming down one night, I was up in my room, sitting on the end of my bed (I had bunk beds - they were awesome) staring out the window as the big fat flakes just poured out of the sky. My room was dark, but the bright snow outside lit it up in a way I had never experienced before. As I was watching it come down, my mom came in to say goodnight. But instead of leaving right away, she sat down with me on the end of my bed, and together we just stared out the window and watched the street disappear under a deeper and deeper bed of snow. I don't know if she remembers that, but it's one of my happiest childhood memories. While we sat there, everything was good and right and peaceful. And I knew I would love snow forever.
After that experience, there are others that stick out in my mind...
Cross-country skiing with my dad through the silent white streets as big white flakes came down around us. It felt like we were in a snow globe.
Down-hill skiing with my friend Kerri on the mile-long switch-backed trail at Ski Denton over and over again. Since most people preferred the straight down sections of trail, we had that long winding path almost all to ourselves.
Sliding across the Drillfield at Virginia Tech on my way to an 8am Genetics class that was one of the only ones to not get cancelled that day. Although I hated everything about that stupid genetics class, the campus was peaceful and quiet and completely beautiful, and I was glad to be out to experience it.
Taking Tommy out sledding on the hill behind our apartment on a cookie sheet since we didn't have a sled. He laughed and laughed...and so did I.
But my most memorable experiences in the snow come from our Appalachian Trail hike back in 2006. It's hard to describe in words, so here are some pictures:
If you close your eyes and imagine peace, that would be about right. There's something magical about the woods in the snow. It's like the world of Narnia where the trees can talk. Everything seems alive, and everything shimmers, and everything is perfect. I can't wait to take my children hiking in the snow.
Hopefully we'll be able to experience some of that magic first-hand this winter, but if this warm weather takes us right into spring...in January...I can always close my eyes and hop back into these memories. I'm still holding out hope for one good snow this year.
What's your favorite snow memory?