I have always said that I love the first snow of winter. The delicate flakes, the chilly air, the beautiful blanket of white covering the earth.
Up until you have to shovel it.
I originally hail from Iowa, so I know snow. And snow shovels.
And I love snow!
I’ve been around light dustings, and foot-high snow drifts. I’ve delighted in watching big flakes land on gloves and coat-covered arms, making out the details of the intricate ice-work. I’ve witnessed the beautiful pink skies of a nighttime blizzard.
But my Snow Travels went beyond Iowa. Also being a Navy family, we have had the benefit of seeing snows from all around the country. The winding street of the Sequoia Park in California made passable by an enormous snow-blowing truck, creating walls of compacted white stuff on either side of us taller than myself. The crunchy, icy kind of snow in New England, perfect for some fun sledding.
And everywhere we were, everywhere we went, we made Snowmen.
Well, Snow Girls, according to Josie, the six-year-old.
Snow Princesses, according to Nora, the three-year-old.
Hampton Roads is in a very tricky position when it comes to snow. Not all the way North, but still not all the way South, she sits right smack in the middle, making each winter a “Will It or Won’t It” sort of wait and see.
If it does snow, it is generally light and slushy. No good for a proper Snow Man, Girl or Princess. But inevitably, the girls will insist we make one anyway, and I act like I’m just going along with the plan. The reality being, of course, that I would make my own Snow Man with or without them.
The first winter we had moved back, just a few years ago, there’d been a terrific snowstorm right at Christmas. I’m sure most of you remember Virginia Beach spending days digging out of that one. Nora was just over a year old, not yet in full appreciation of our Winter Wonderland. But Josie, she was four, and she was not only overjoyed by it, she actually remembered it.
The following Christmas, she was very certain we were going to have a white one.
I tried to dissuade her, told her how it doesn’t always snow here, secretly hoping that we would, indeed, have a repeat storm. But the weather forecasts were not foretelling the future we desired. When Christmas Day showed up in the seven day forecast, I would point to the TV and exclaim, “Josie, look! They are not predicting snow! It’s not even going to be cold enough!”
Still, she insisted.
And I secretly hoped.
And we were both outwardly disappointed. Not only did we wake up to a Brown Christmas Morning, the Southside did not receive any decent sort of snowfall to even make a Snow Girl’s shoe. The disappointment was palpable. If I had the funds to point a snow-making machine over our house, I would have done it. But the husband prefers we do things like “pay our mortgage” over giving our children the delight of snowangels. Some people just don’t get it!
This year, Josie is a wee bit older and a whole lot wiser. She wanted to understand the weather, and we made sure she did. She knows, for instance, that the temperature needs to be 32 degrees or below for snow to happen at all. She still insisted we would have a White Christmas (and convinced little Nora of the same), but this time, she looked at the seven-day forecast and saw for herself that it was not going to be in the cards this time.
She was elated, though, in January when our Season of Snow finally came! Outside we trekked, snow crunching underneath rainboots, gloved hands happily hurling snowballs, “Let’s make a Snow Princess!” they scream.
As we moved snow into a pile (a crumbly kind of snow, difficult for Snow Sculpting, but we were not deterred) Nora piped up.
“It’s Christmas Time!”
Yes, Little One, Merry Christmas.
Jennifer Tackett-Hilton is a Virginia Beach transplant (originally from Iowa) and Old Dominion University graduate who swore she'd never date a Navy man.... but never said she wouldn't marry one! Jennifer and her Prince Charming have two adorable (and precocious!) princesses, ages 2 and 5, and one furry pooch, Eddie.
In the (precious little) spare time she has, she enjoys crafting, shopping for new craft supplies, and writing on her blogs, EverAfterLand.com and JenEverAfter.com. You can find her on Facebook at http://facebook.com/everafterland and follow her on http://twitter.com/jeneverafter and http://pinterest.com/jeneverafter.