The First Snowfall is Snow Fun!


Disclosure Pic

We got our first snowfall this week!  We’ve had snow much fun playing around in it – and since the forecasters were a bit off in how much we might get, we were happily surprised by the 8 inches to a foot that we actually received.

It’s been bitterly cold, too, which is quite unusual for this town.  Many people here don’t even own an snow shovel (which is quite odd to this Pennsylvania girl) but any snow we get often melts by dinnertime.  It’s been sticking around for several days, though, and isn’t leaving quite yet as the temp hasn’t topped freezing – or even gotten close – since the snow started to fall.

All of that means that our roads are bad.  Yes, I think they’re bad, too – because with nowhere near enough plows or salt, the snow quickly gets packed down and becomes ice, and ice is just horrible to drive on.

My husband’s office even closed today, and so we’re all enjoying this opportunity to sleep in, watch lots of movies together, work on our read-aloud (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), head outside for adventures, and then come back in to cook dinner together.  I love doing that!

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to:

Snow Fun

While walking out in the snow, the kids had an impromptu snowball fight.  They started to get really into it …

Snow Fun

and we saw lots of smiles as the snow flew.

Snow Fun

ABC11, one of our local news stations, filmed the kids, and they ended up being on the news – twice!  The kids were excited to make their first TV appearance.

Snow Fun

Surprisingly enough, we’ve never had snowball fights before, but My Little Man thoroughly enjoyed it.

Snow Fun

My Big Helper’s favorite snow activity is finding a big pile of snow that was pushed aside by a plow and making snow caves.

Snow Fun

You just have to go sledding, though.

What’s your favorite snowy activity?

For more snow fun activities, check out these books:

The Meaning of a Legacy

Legacies have come up in conversation a lot lately.  It seems that most people consider a legacy to be money – a sum of money, preferably a sizeable sum – that one bequeaths to another upon death.

The Meaning of a Legacy

That is a type of legacy.  It’s a concrete legacy with a beginning, ending, and with concrete purpose or abilities here on earth.

But that’s where it ends.

That kind of cash legacy can only take you so far.

It might pay off debt, provide for housing, education, or temporary security, but sooner or later it comes to an end.

It can only do so much.

There’s another kind of legacy, however, that lasts indefinitely.

It has a clear beginning but no definite end.  Sometimes it can be traced through time, history, and events, but at others the origins are lost.  The beginning becomes murky with time but the meaning lives on.

That’s the kind of legacy I’m contemplating this month.

I’ve been blessed to have been left several of those legacies, and while the one of which I speak began being handed to me several decades ago, the passing of that baton ended this week.

As I sit here, hours from where the business of death is being handled, I’m remembering many aspects of that legacy.

Where caring and love were shown in many ways, like in the mailing of colorful office supplies to a wanna-be elementary-aged writer.

Where antique mystery books were shipped off to be read, treasured, and discussed.

Where peas were taught to be cooked and dish-washing was praised and books were shared lavishly because such enjoyment can be found within well-written pages.

Where complaining has no purpose but finding the silver lining is a task worth doing.

Where food well-prepared is a service of love, and eating lettuce leaves in the kitchen center under duress is, too, because nobody wants to get rickets.

Where driving all over New England is a smart idea because there’s great stuff to be seen and learned in these places, even at the small Scituate lighthouse because Abby kept the lighthouse burning and you read about it in school in fourth grade.  That the expense of nice hotels, trolley cars around Boston, and extra books are worth it because “I don’t get to see you that much and I like doing these with you.  It’s okay!”

Where a day trip to Plimoth Plantation sparks deep realizations about what it really must have felt like to survive such harsh conditions and changes the kind of teacher you become.  Where no matter how many ways someone tries to ask about bathroom habits in Plimoth Colony, the living historians’ eyes sparkle and they repeat that they don’t understand in deep Elizabethan accents.  When you understand that even older people don’t have all the answers – but that there’s an adventure of learning out there if you’ll only go look for it.

Where soap well made, purchased as a gift, deep pink and fragrant, at Fort Number Four’s gift shop sparks a life-long fascination with saponification.  From all-glycerin to all-natural oils,  no soaps are purchased in this house now – and I remember that pink bar of soap every day and the person who stayed with me while I wandered the shop and smelled every one.

Where you learn at least a modicum of patience because other people have weird likes, too, and drag you through all the fancy herb gardens at all of those great living history places – Fort Number Four, Plimoth Plantation, and Sturbridge Village, and then walk through those gardens, identifying the plants, asking about unknown ones, and telling stories about grandmothers gone before and their herb gardens.  Where thinking that all those acres of smelly plants was rather annoying until you realize just how many cool things can be done with those plants and you begin to plant your own, scattered around the yard, and start researching how to dry and cure and use them.

Where physical exercise is important and good health is something to work for.  Where pedaling for all you’re worth to keep up with the nana and her best friend is a goal worth having because those ‘older’ ladies are cool and super hard to catch on hilly bike rides.  Where all-natural food is something holy and organic milk worth the extra expense “because Dr. Aurand said to buy that organic even if that’s the only organic purchase you make.”

Because education is always a subject of interest and it’s always worth research and involvement.  Because no matter how serious the personal circumstances, the education of young minds is always worth inquiry, and there’s always a great trip nearby where learning can happen and be enjoyed.  Because even from a day’s drive away there are souvenirs, CDs, movies, books, and newspaper clippings that could add to young learning and are worth packaging up and randomly shipping through the mail to include in a given unit.

Because there’s all of this and so much more.

That’s the kind of legacy that’s important to me.  When you realize that your son eats tomatoes like apples and applauds you for making a big salad for dinner and you know that rickets will never be in his future.  When your daughter catches a horribly uncomfortable childhood disease and  never once complains and you realize that she’s just admiring the large, itchy spots that come with the territory – and enjoying the time reading with you.  You know she’ll always find something to be happy about.  When reading lunches on a New Hampshire porch over turkey sandwiches and Ruffles become Southern reading breakfasts and lunches and “Oh, Mommy, can’t I read that book while we eat dinner?  It’s so good!” and you know that reading and learning will always be an important part of their lives.

That’s a legacy worth leaving.  It started long ago but isn’t anywhere near ending.  That legacy is alive and well and continues to grow.

Nana, we love you and will always miss you, but we’ll never forget you.