let it snow

Yes, we’re caught in the blizzard of 2009. Happily, landisdad had shopped last week for all the ingredients I needed to make 7 different kinds of cookies this weekend. Our snowed-in-ness meant that I had the time to make all 7 batches, and our house smells great. The downside is that I am nowhere near ready for Christmas, and did not get to shop for things that I needed this weekend to shop for. I think that means I’m going to be forced to visit stores this week, which will truly suck, I imagine.

I love living in a small town, and it’s never more true than during a big snow. For one, while we couldn’t get out to the mall, we did manage to walk into town yesterday to pick up our Christmas tree. The kids got hot chocolate at the coffee shop, and landisdad and I carried our tree home the 3 blocks from the garden center to our house. Our tree was covered with natural snow and it was beautiful.

Another thing I love is how the neighborhood comes together to dig everyone out, especially when there is a really big snow like this one. About five or six years ago, we bought a communal snow blower for our block. We don’t live in an area where there is enough snow for anyone to justfiy a snow blower (at least in my opinion), but it’s nice to have one that we all share. There are a couple of guys on our block who really get into it, and they will generally do all the sidewalks, and cut up into the driveways of the older couples who can’t shovel due to health concerns. We share our driveway with our next door neighbors, who are a couple in their fifties. The husband of that couple has had a couple of heart attacks, and isn’t allowed to shovel, so a couple of the younger guys on the street will generally pitch in to help us dig out our driveway, which is long and narrow.

It sometimes befuddles some of the men in our neighborhood that I shovel snow (although I don’t do as much as landisdad does). But we’ve been here for ten years–they’ve mostly gotten used to my odd, gender-bending ways. Though earlier today, I think I blew the mind of one of our male neighbors when I told him that landisdad had walked into town to pick up a chicken, while I dug our cars out.

The kids both ended up having playdates, as well as playing with each other in the snow. I’m ashamed to say that both of their friends came fitted out in complete snow attire, including boots—I haven’t gotten it together enough this year to buy snow boots for the kids. I used my own mom’s trick of wrapping their feet in plastic bags inside their boots, so that they wouldn’t get instantly wet and freeze. Both of them found it about as embarrassing as I used to when I was in elementary school—so the family cycle continues.

Tonight one of my brothers is hosting dinner for us and the other brother & his wife, who had a birthday on Friday. We’re only a couple of blocks away, so we can just walk over. I haven’t gotten her a birthday present yet, so I guess we’ll be going with an IOU, but it will be good to spend this time together, since we won’t all be together on Christmas. I’m feeling very glass-is-half-fullish about this whole thing. Despite the fact that I’m falling farther behind in preparations for Christmas, I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in fighting a sort of Scroogey feeling I was having earlier in the week.

After all, the real point of this season is not just to give gifts—it’s to have some goodwill toward all. I think that my neighbors and family, and two feet of snow, have conspired to give me that goodwill.


December 20, 2009. family life. 4 comments.