Another snowstorm!!!! I completely understand why older people move to southern states when they retire. Winters are COLD! My fingers get chilled just thinking about it, and the snow keeps piling up!
I do not enjoy the winters as I used to. I remember pre-children when my husband and I would go skiing. One day it was 10 degrees below zero. We were all excited it was so cold because that meant that the ski slopes would not be as crowded and we would not have to wait in line for the chairlift. We bundled up with layer upon layer of warm clothing with not an inch of skin showing lest if freeze and fall off. We skied all day. At one point, we stopped at the top of the mountain and viewed the surrounding area. With the sun blazing down on the shiny snow, we saw snowcapped mountains in the distance, little villages, frozen lakes and the ant specks that were cars, and I was overcome with awe for nature. It’s a good thing this memory is frozen in my mind because these days, you’d never get me on top of a cold, frigid mountain again!
Several years ago, after several major snowstorms, there was an 8 foot pile of snow made by the snowplow. The kids managed to shape it for sledding, and they had great fun sliding down. At one point, Steven climbed to the top of the pile and all of a sudden he disappeared! He had fallen deep inside the snow pile! It was like he was buried in an avalanche! Another heart stopping moment for me. Fortunately, we managed to pull the snow from around the top of the pile until we could pull him out. He was laughing because it was such an adventure, and he begged to do it again.
Several years ago, my husband received an old snowmobile as a “gift” from a friend. One day, he was riding it in our large backyard with my son Steven sitting in the front of him. Raymond decided to Steven drive. Excitedly, Steven turned the handlebars to give it gas. The snowmobile took off in a lurch and my husband was thrown from the back of it in an amazing double somersault. (A “10” if he were rated in the Olympics for gymnastics off the back of a snowmobile.) Steven and the snowmobile zoomed on, headed right for the shed in the backyard. His life flashed before my eyes and I thought “This is what it feels like to see your child die.” My heart was in my stomach and I felt like I wanted to vomit and scream at the same time. Fortunately, unbeknownst to me, if you let up on the handlebars, the machine stops. This is exactly what Steven did. Then he turned around and noticed that his father was missing! And he had stopped within a foot of the shed. He did not realize how serious it was, and laughed at my husband, still feet up in the snow. It took a while for my heart to start beating again, and I vowed Steven would never again be allowed to drive a snowmobile. So, my husband did the only smart thing a father could do…he sold that snowmobile and he bought 2 news ones so we could go snowmobiling as a family! Ugh! We trekked up to New Hampshire to go for a nice, winter vacation. Because Steven could not drive, and because at this time Angel was also living with us, I was forced to go along as the second driver. If you have not ridden on a snowmobile, the closest description is as if you are riding motorcycle on skis. In the ice. And the cold. And did I mention the ice? Because I had never even ridden a motorcycle, I was very nervous. I started the machine, jerking it as Steven had done when he tried to drive it. Fortunately, Angel had his arms firmly wound around me and he didn’t fall off. I was so scared and it was so awkward to drive that I could only creep along at 5-10 miles per hour, much to my husband’s dismay. (Dismay is putting it mildly.) To make matters worse, my husband did not choose the nice, empty, safe fields to ride in. NOOOOOO! He chose the skinny, trees whipping by your head, narrow snowmobile paths with TRAFFIC COMING IN THE OTHER DIRECTION! That one day of snowmobiling was the scariest of my life. Once we began on the trail, there was no turning back! My hands were shaking, my body was sweating even though it was freezing out, and my imagination had my head being whipped off by a tree branch. I did enjoy the nice, friendly wave the snowmobilers in the opposite direction were giving us, and each time we passed them, my hand went up to wave back. (I later learned that the opposing snowmobilers put up the number of fingers for the number in their party. 3 fingers for 3 people, and so forth. I realized that each time I waved, I was telling them that we had 5 people in our party. Oh, well, I won’t do that again because I won’t do THAT again…go snowmobiling. Fortunately, Angel did not enjoy it either, so he and I spent our time shopping at the factory outlets while Raymond and Steven went out on the trails.
At home, there is a pond in our backyard. Marie loves playing outside in the cold, going ice fishing, building snowmen, and, most of all, playing hockey. She dresses warmly from head to toe…black snow pants, black jacket, a hat which covers most of her face, several pairs of gloves topped with hockey gloves, and boys hockey skates. She takes her hockey stick and skates around the lake to the various hockey games trying to get an invitation to play. From looking at her all bundled up, you cannot tell if she is a girl or a boy. She is not verbal, so they cannot tell from her voice. (She points to her ears for them to know she is deaf.) She would normally use sign language but with hockey gloves this is next to impossible. They always let her in because she is a good player. If one group stops playing, she will skate around and find another group. She reminds me of a female Batman for hockey…slinking into games, her identity unknown…showing up out of the blue when a team needs a player!
Winter is alive and well with my kiddos, who enjoy it as I did when I was a child. They love the snow and all the activities, but now thatI am older I get chilled easily…(picture granny in the rocking chair with a blanket around her.) I sit by the picture window, near the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate with mountains of marshmallow and I watch them having fun outside. As parents, we all know that watching our children be happy and have fun is even more fun than doing it ourselves. I am a happy mommy. Let it snow!
Link to the Readers Digest review of my book: http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/