Sudden Snow

I haven’t posted in a while. The combination of illness, lack of Wi-Fi when blogging opportunities arose, and then the whirl of Christmas festivities made it difficult to find the time.

Something unusual happened on Christmas Eve. In the early morning when the light appeared, Mt. Rainier’s top was cut off by a cloud-blind. It looked like an enormous Bob Ross had blotted it out. My phone blew up with winter weather advisories. As the day progressed, the white sky cover rolled all the way down. The mountain disappeared from view.

Ruby and I were outside, playing fetch with Dakota when the flakes started. At first it looked like ashes drifting down, remnants of a bonfire.

“It’s snowing!” I cried. Ruby lit up with delight.

We tried catching them on our tongues, despite Lucy of Peanuts’ fame’s admonition that December snowflakes aren’t ripe yet.

The snow fell gently at first. It stopped and started. The temperature hovered at just above freezing. Nothing stuck. Then, the sun slipped below the horizon. The snow started coming down harder. The ground accumulated white. Traffic slowed outside, muffled by the drifts.

Ruby and Dakota clowned around outside, guided by the Christmas lights . Ruby made snowballs and threw them to Dakota, who caught them in her mouth. They broke around her muzzle in an icy white wave. The friends ran up and down the yard. They jumped and slid.

I watched the white curtain from the warm indoors.

We don’t get white Christmases here very often. When they do occur, it feels like a celebration.

The snowfall felt like hope. This seemed like God reaching down and saying, “I remember you. I know you wonder which end is up sometimes, but I know. I’ll guide you if you let me.”

The snowfall felt like peace, causing a moment of slow motion as Christmas arrived and we all sang “Silent Night”.

The snowfall felt like joy. A baby boy born in the most unlikely place to the most unlikely people, God transported into history. Joy to the World!

God can work in a “suddenly” way. And when He does, it’s wonderful.

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Snowish

snowy-morning

It snowed yesterday. So far, this has been our Snowmageddon of 2016. We were supposed to get somewhere around 6-8 inches. The City shop prepared by filling up dump trucks with sand and gassing up the snow plows. They tuned up the road grader. They recruited crews to plow through the night. Others were scheduled to report in at 4:30 a.m. All i can say is somebody better be on coffee duty.

We got 2 inches in town, at my house, which is near sea level. And that’s just barely. Folks who live near Hood Canal got more. People fled from work early, worried about getting stuck roadside in the snow. The school district placed a special robocall announcing that they reserved the right to close early, and for parents to be ready. The snow started around 4:30 here in town. It moved up the I-5 corridor from Oregon. I love it when the weather pattern follows the paved path. Why reinvent the wheel? Makes so much sense.

I’m sitting here drinking coffee. The furnace pumps out warm air. The only ones up are me and the cats. I have no idea where they are. It’s quiet. As the snow melts, it drips. I hear rivulets coursing down the driveway and off the roof.

I’m breathing in peace. Things are turning right side up again. The snow, blanketing everything, feels like a new beginning. I’ll take it.

 

Chance of Snow

evergreens-and-snow

(source)

For the past 2 days,  Winter Advisory notices kept popping up on my phone. Generally, these notices mean nothing. Our house is 23 feet above sea level. We don’t get much snow. Oh, a dusting here and there, and the freak storm of 2008-2009. But generally, not a lot.

So I kind of ignored them. I told the kids there was a possibility of snow. But I didn’t hold out much hope. Cold rain? Sure, and lots of it.

But I was wrong.

Ruby came into our room as I was getting dressed.

“Mom, it’s snowing!” Excitement lit her face.

Downstairs, I found her peeking out the front window. She had wrapped herself in a blanket against the chill. The streetlight shone down on fluffy flakes as they drifted to the ground. Outside, a live snowglobe.

Ruby dove into her closet and pulled out a coat. She donned a zebra-print cap.

“I’m going for a walk. Want to come?”

We stepped outside. Pepper-car had her own cottony blanket. Jonathon’s car, too. All was silent, the world asleep. We made fresh tracks on the driveway and the road. Ruby poked her toe into a slushy puddle, a dirty wet donut hole surrounded by powdered sugar. We strolled down the block. No birds sang. Nothing stirred.

“Mom, what’s your favorite hot drink when you’ve been outside forever?”

We debated the merits of hot chocolate vs. cider vs. chai tea. The dawn had yet to come, but the snow cast its own glow. We passed one other walker near the creek.

“Hello,” he said. The snow makes everyone friendlier, I thought.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” I said, smiling.

He look at me like I was crazy and picked up his pace. I kept on smiling. We headed back to the house so I could get ready for work and Ruby could make snowballs.

I want to be in the moment and not miss a thing. Snow falling reminds me to stop and savor what is, now, because nothing lasts forever.

Happy Monday.

 

Coffee Perk

I ran outside in the drizzle, two damp miles.  I’m going to make this a cutback week.  I reached a mileage goal last week and my legs let me know:  “Enough!”  I plan to spend this week doing a lot of stretching after each run and fine-tuning my diet a bit.  More on that later.

We’re back to steady rain.  Yesterday’s is a good memory, smallish piles of it plowed into corners of parking lots and streets.  Church shrank to one service yesterday due to inclement weather. Several families couldn’t make it out of their driveways.  We have a few micro climates up here.  Our house sits at 23′ above sea level.  We get the least amount of snow, generally.  Hoodsport, Union and out that direction get twice as much, if not more, than we do.  It’s crazy.

I’ve been twitted for not writing about coffee much lately, which is in my blog’s tagline.  Apologies.  Which brings me to today’s topic. Say hello to my favorite kitchen appliance, Mr. Coffee.  Isn’t he a handsome devil?

However.  Despite Mister’s best efforts, I can’t seem to wake up today. I want to curl up with my good book and drink coffee all day.  In fact, I have a partial cup I’m nursing now.  I hope I don’t regret this at 2:00 a.m. when my brain is doing a whirling dervish impression.  My eyes sit at half-mast, my brain on low.  Coffee, why hast thou forsaken me?  Why don’t you rouse my sleeping synapses?  At least I’m not in TMI danger today.  Little to no human contact, thankyouverymuch.

Coffee, mysterious
Import from tropical lands
Banishing brain fog.

Wikipedia says:  Coffee is slightly acidic (pH 5.0–5.1) and can have a stimulating effect on humans because of its caffeine content. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. The effect of coffee on human health has been a subject of many studies; however, results have varied in terms of coffee’s relative benefit.The majority of recent research suggests that moderate coffee consumption is benign or mildly beneficial in healthy adults. However, coffee can worsen the symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, largely due to the caffeine and diterpenes it contains.

Well, I have no idea what diterpenes are but they sound like ancient Greeks to me.  Didn’t Diterpenes write The Iliad?

Raise your hand if you’re glad coffee is a legal substance.  Caffeine is a beautiful thing.

Later on, I had a revelation.  The rain ebbed and flowed. As I drove home from shopping, I saw the trees drip.  I passed the towering Douglas firs, standing tall and silent in the misty wet.  I smiled. The weather differs somewhat every day.  Shouldn’t I give myself the same freedom? This is home.  I will survive.  I can put up with a little temporary brain fog.  I will leave the calculus equations to others.  To quote Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Eve of Christmas

I am very, very tired.  And excited.  And busy.  I am drinking another cup of coffee as I type this.

It’s Christmas Eve.  Just about everyone has something to do today.  I did notice that my bank is closed.  Guess they don’t have much to do there.

Yesterday afternoon after church, we drove down to Oregon to visit my stepmom’s family.  We haven’t been together since Ruby was a baby, probably about a year old.  She’s 7 now and Zac is 13.  My step-uncle’s wife died back in September.  She was a feisty, funny lady, and short like me.  She will be missed.  It seemed a good time to get together again and circle the wagons, get caught up on each other’s lives.  There were a LOT of little girls, ranging in age from 2 to 11.  My brother’s boys, 1 and 3, joined in the merriment.  Zac was at the other end of the spectrum.  He filled the testosterone void of boys his age by playing on his iPhone.  We ate food and talked and laughed.  I feel a little sad that I only met everyone when I was 13, and Dad married Patty.  I wished I’d grown up knowing my uncles better.

Because I was so tired, I did manage to put my foot in my mouth most handily a couple of times .  Uncle Mike, who is only a handful of years older than I am, made sure I didn’t forget it.  At least it was a great laugh, even if it was at my expense.  Then, mercifully, we drove back home.

I managed to do food shopping today, if you can believe that.  I saw two friends at the store; we chatted briefly.  We are now stocked up.  Shelton has a winter storm warning on, starting early tomorrow morning.  Now, the warning I got on my phone last night said we were in for 5-10 inches.  What it failed to mention is that the snow level will lower to 500 feet.

Our house is at an elevation of 23 feet.  Yeah.  I wonder if we’ll get any snow.

I got up before everyone else this morning to sneak a short run in.  I want to honor my commitment to run a mile every day until New Year’s.  I peeked outside at the pre-dawn morning. It was dry.  Sure, the sidewalks and streets and ground was damp.  But no precipitation fell from the sky. Up here, a dry day is a good day.  Nobody will wear shorts (except Zac), mind you, but people will celebrate in small ways, like walking instead of driving around town. I left my music at home and packed only myself and my watch out into the neighborhood.

The air hovered just above freezing.  It was very quiet, like a holy hush froze the air.  Christmas lights illuminated several houses, glowing like jewels in the early morning.  No two were the same.  As the time clicked past 7 a.m., the sky started to lighten in the east.  Loose-fitting clouds revealed the morning.  Suddenly, I could see.  I wondered if the morning Jesus was born was like this:  so very dark, and then suddenly – light!  I’d been so caught up in the joyful busy-ness of the Christmas program at church and logistics, baking, cards, cleaning, and on and on that I lost sight of the miracle of morning and  a new day.

I find myself thinking about the year that’s almost gone and just being grateful. I truly love living here in this place.  I still have so, so much to do.  I know all my readers who are parents – also some non-parents – can relate to this.  Yet for this moment, the calm before the storm – possibly literally – there is peace.

Christmas Spirit

Snow.  A snow day on the last day of school before winter break.  Making cookies and anointing them with frosting plus millions of sprinkles alongside Ruby.  Delivering the cookies. Eating said cookies.  Running outside in the deep freeze, snow lingering on the ground. Putting money in the Salvation Army guy’s red kettle.  More snow mixed with rain. Eggnog.  Writing Christmas cards to family and friends far and near.  Zac trying to winnow out of us what his Christmas presents are.  Drinking REAL cocoa, made with unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar and hot milk.  Shopping for Christmas presents and finding just the “thing”.  Crunching a red-and-white striped candy cane.  Reading books in front of a blazing gas fireplace. The piney aroma of our gorgeous Douglas fir tree. “These are a few of my favorite Christmas-y things…”

Did I mention snow?

Suffice it to say I’m getting into the Christmas spirit; the anticipation builds.  I’m feeling the peace only Jesus can provide as the days get more hectic.  Only 6 more days. Hallelujah!