I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person. Sylvia Plath
January 2008 .. a storm is coming. A big one, the local weatherman says. Not the first time we’ve heard this in Lake Oswego, our quiet little town, nine miles south of Portland. The experts frequently predicted blizzards that instead brought big, sloppy snowflakes, too wet to stick to the roads or close the schools, much to the kids’ disappointment.
My husband Dan was heading to Arizona for a week to run his company’s sales kickoff. Swanky resort. Golf. Sun. Pool. I was jealous after weeks of cold, dark, rainy days in Oregon. Sunrise at 7:50 am, sunset at 4:30 pm. My California heart was crying out for blue skies and balmy days.
Dan’s plane departed, despite some icy conditions, leaving the kids and me to contend with the oncoming storm which turned out to be a big one after all, closing the schools for a full week and leaving our small country road unplowed for the same amount of time.
What fun to be trapped at home with no excuses required as to why we couldn’t or didn’t want to be somewhere. The kids built snowmen, rode saucers down our backyard hill, huddled in the family room drinking cocoa and watching Friends while the black stove kept them cozy and warm. No homework, no obligations. Buddies within walking distance. Kids of all ages throwing snowballs and playing together on the quiet, crunchy street. Cut off from the world and fully immersed in it at the same time. Only weeks away from the shock of finding a recurrence of Jimmy’s brain cancer on his quarterly scan, we rejoiced in his health and our time together. Simple meals created out of what I had on hand. A two-mile walk to Burgerville our only outing. The pace and beauty of quiet winter days. An opportunity to be together we didn’t miss.