A Ton of Fun

As a kid in Houston, I really didn’t have “winter” clothes.  We’d wear flip-flops almost year round, and my “coat” was more of a jacket.  The first time I saw snow up North, I was so excited I phoned my family in Texas at the crack of dawn! Now, snow’s part of life in Connecticut, and most of us don’t give it much thought other than checking to see if school’s called off. So when warnings came through about a history-making blizzard, we got prepared (not  panicked).   “Nemo” was bringing a snowfall our area hadn’t seen at once in several decades.  What’s a farmgirl to do with a ton of snow?  Have a ton of fun!

Look!  A “Snowy Owl”!


My relatives in warmer climates like to playfully tease me in winter when they’re sitting out soakin’ up the sun, and tending their roses.  But those that haven’t lived in a snowy climate only see what the media puts on television, (always the extreme), and you’re missin’ out!

This rose bloomed at my brother’s home on Valentine’s Day.

Of course we make sure we have groceries – we do that every week, despite the weather!  If there’s anything the recent “superstorms” (Irene, Alfred and Sandy) have taught us, it’s to be ready for loss of electricity. I make sure we have food that can be heated up and gas for the generator.  It’s the wind that causes the power outages, not the snow. Friends who ski pray for gobs of white, though I tried skiing once.  It didn’t go well…I couldn’t get past the bunny slope and ended face down with my skis stuck straight up, like two telephone poles.  Thank goodness YouTube didn’t exist back then.  Still, nothing’s more peaceful or beautiful than gently falling snow.       

A cold Connecticut day and hot Texas chili equals bliss!

School was cancelled the day before, but my husband went to work.   Kim’s a hard-worker; in two decades, I can count the number of times he’s left early or had a sick day on one hand.  A Scandinavian, he’s an expert in Winter driving.  But when our governor announced all the roads would close at noon, I hoped he’d hightail it home quick!  

Once my hubby was home, I felt relieved, and we could enjoy the storm. Enjoy?  

The wind was angry, but  watching the storm was exciting.  The hardest part of snow is clearing our massive driveway, so my “Suburban Farmboy” husband went out a couple of times to use the snow thrower on our garden tractor.  I held my breath, nervous  the wind would drop a big tree on him a-la Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz,  but again, my imagination is my Achilles heel!

Kim gives the “thumbs up” that he got the snow thrower working after some “technical difficulties”

The next morning (Saturday), New England was buried and still.  We got more than thirty inches!  It was more of a big “comforter” than a “blanket” of snow. The earth sparkled – Mother Nature’s “bling”!   Everyone and everything needed digging out, and roads were closed ‘til that evening.

My deck stairs disappeared.

The back porch and view of the driveway – after it had been cleared of snow the night before – twice!

We did have to find our mailbox.  We think of it as a hunt for buried treasure (unless it’s full of  bills).

The mailbox had been there the night before…

The Road…after the town plowed it. Needs a few more passes!

Powdery and soft, it made for some laughs when the dog went out, or we tried to run through it.

SPLAT!  My daughter learned that not just boots but snowshoes are really needed to move through deep snow.

By Sunday, the roads were clear.  We were invited to our friends’ the MacKenzie’s for some sledding and cocoa with their son and grand-kids.  Now, I’ve said I love to sled, but despite a steep, winding driveway, the rest of our property’s pretty flat.  Our version of sledding’s more like sliding down a lump than a hill, the whole process over in seconds.  Watching the kids sledding lickity-split down the MacKenzie’s long track, I realized I’ve never had the full experience. Imagine a Merry-Go-Round compared to a roller coaster.  Everyone convinced me I just had to try it. It looked like “snow much fun”!  Up I went, with an inflatable do-nut sled.  Looking down, I suddenly felt very old…and very small.

No time to think or back out, I was gently nudged, but immediately picked up speed.  I was flying!

I wasn’t prepped how to stop.  Yes, I screamed. The. Whole. Way. Down. At one point I was airborne.  A birdhouse on a pole loomed ahead, but suddenly the track veered a sharp right and I kept going.   A kid (mine, I think) at the bottom screamed and jumped out of the way as I flew past.  I thought I might go into the woods, when finally I stopped.  Weeeeeee! I felt just like the little happy animated piglet in the Geico commercials. I LOVED IT!  Winter isn’t so bad!  We get a reprieve from mowing, weeding and watering! Warm-climate friends, you may get to wear shorts all year round, but we get to SLED!!!!  (Hmmm…maybe I should give skiing another try). Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early Spring, but in case he’s wrong, winter’s welcome a few more weeks.

*(Remember to leave me a comment so I know you stopped by!)

Until next time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

Leave a comment 0 Comments

  1. diana henretty says:

    Good Morning,
    Lucky, lucky you to get all that snow!!
    In Noel Mo. this morning we are waiting for a winter storm to arrive with sleet,
    ice and snow tonite, but we are ready for it!
    This past year when grocery shopping, I bought a extra case of whatever was on sale to stick in my pantry, it is the best way to stock up without spending a fortune with the budget, and now my little basement pantry has enough for a couple of year’s of ice storms!
    Loved all your snowy pictures and your wintry words this morning,
    and the Texas Chili looks so tempting, it will be simmering on my old cookstove tonite! Hugs from the Ozarks, Diana

    Hi Diana!  That’s a great way to stock up!  It makes it easier when a big ol’ storm comes through if you only need a few little things at the store before it arrives, instead of a cart full.  Enjoy your chili!  Hugs, Nicole

  2. CJ Armstrong says:

    Ahhh, Nicole! There’s nothing like fun in the snow! Looks like you guys made the best of a lot of it!
    I was able to get my snowshoes out this last round. But it’s all gone and I doubt we’ll get another "big dump" this spring. I could, however, be surprised!
    Thanks for sharing your winter fun!
    CJ

    Hi CJ!  You’re right…we probably won’t get too many more big snowstorms, if that. Spring is just around the corner! Enjoy! -Nicole

  3. Joan says:

    Oh yes I remember those great snows and sledding – this was in Nebraska and now I live in CO. where today we are in snow alert – everything is stocked and fortunately I have a neighbor man with a snow blower that is always there to help because, you see I’m now at the age that snow is not fun to be in – enjoy it from inside. But I am so happy that you got to go sledding – hope you get to do it again. And more than that I am happy to hear that you made it through without problems. God Bless

    Thanks, Joan!  I agree…when everything is stocked and ready there’s  no problems.  Snow is such a pretty sight…enjoy your snowfall and stay warm!  -Nicole

  4. Adrienne says:

    Isn’t sledding fun? I loved doing it when I was a kid. My grandparents’ house in New Jersey was on the corner and had a sloping yard down to the street. We had so much snow one winter, I remember my grandfather and uncle climbing on the second story roof to shovel snow so the roof wouldn’t collapse. If it was too cold and windy to play outside, I would go to the basement and play near the wringer washer and pantry. The furnace kept the room toasty.

    Later as an adult in Reno, Nevada, my four-wheel drive car took me most places I had to go. Once the snow and ice in the city was so bad, there was a "chains mandatory" warning in Reno. I scooted home on back roads and hibernated for the rest of the day and evening. Fun times!

    Oh Adrienne, thank you for sharing!  What great stories.  My hubby says in Denmark they used chains, too, but we don’t see them here in Connecticut.  Not enough snow, I guess. 

    Another fun thing we enjoy with snow on the ground is marveling at all the pawprints that grace our yard each day.  We’ve seen so many different animals that have walked through with different prints. 

    Thanks for sharing your memories, Adrienne. Hugs, Nicole

  5. Peggy Smith says:

    Nicole,
    Thanks for sharing your snow. I live in Southwest Mo. we rarely get snow, but today it is coming down so beautiful and gentle.
    I am 61 and still feel like a kid when it snows, If we get enough I will be outside playing and making snow angels.

    Many Blessings
    Peggy

    Have fun, Peggy!  Make a snow angel for me!  Hugs, Nicole

  6. Laurie Dimino says:

    Hi there Nicole!
    Yes- we were indeed hit with a snowstorm! Here on Long Island, our town received the most snow of all of Long Island….33.5 inches!
    We too, had lots of fun in our winter wonderland. We went sledding at the school,made snow ice cream, and built a fort in the front yard.
    I worked like a farmgirl…digging my way all the way back to the chicken coop, and then around the side to the rabbit hutch.
    Thankfully, alot of the snow here has melted thanks to some rain and warmer temperatures. I am not particularly fond of looking at the mountains of snow that become all dirty and "yucky" looking. I much prefer the beautiful vista of fresh fallen snow! LOL
    I enjoyed the action shot of your flying down the hill, and I know what you mean about "feeling old". Its funny how sometimes when we go to do something we haven’t done in ages, we suddenly feel old, but then once we actually do it, we become young again (well at least young at heart for the moment!)
    Well, stay warm and continue to have FUN!!!!! That’s what life is REALLY all about!
    Hugs to you my dear friend!
    Laurie

    Hi Laurie!  I wondered how you all did where you are!  Sounds like you had lots of fun, too!  I can’t wait to try "snow ice cream" our next big snowfall.  It’s melting here, too, but we’ve had a few dustings here and there since the big snow.  Looking out my window, the ground is still covered and white.  We took our dog for a walk a couple of times this weekend.  Wish you all could see her…she "hopped" through the snow by the curb as we walked, so happy to play in the big mounds.  She looked like a giant rabbit! 

    Speaking of rabbits, hope your rabbits and chickens are doing okay; sounds like you took good care of them!

    Talk to you soon!  Hope you are enjoying your month as Farmgirl of the Month! Hugs, Nicole

  7. susan says:

    What fun….. good for you for enjoying. I live on the westcoast of Canada and no snow for us this year :( sounds like so much fun.Thanks for sharing.

    Hi Susan!  We’ve had winters like that before, with no snow.  As much as everyone here likes to complain about the snow, when we don’t have any we all sure do miss it!  Thanks for reading and commenting! -Nicole

  8. Rose says:

    Nicole,
    Looks like you had your hands full with that snowstorm. Glad you made it through OK and had some fun also! I miss the East Coast snow storms, everything looks so pretty covered in fresh snow.
    We had a big snow storm in the Chicago area a few years ago, but so far a mild winter.
    Rose

    Well, Rose, the East Coast misses you, too!  Hey, if you move back you can teach me to ski! :) Hugs, Nicole

  9. Jennifer says:

    This is my first look at your blog. I am in Utah so we do get some great snow. I am not a skier, I am more of a "snuggler". As in snuggle in front of our wood burning stove. We have large windows in the family room and love to watch the snow. Growing up, I lived on a steep hill. Just getting home was a chore, but it was great sledding. The snowy days seemed longer then. I hope your kids enjoy this time. It all ends too soon. Keep writing, I really enjoy it.

    Hi Jennifer!  Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!  Aahh…a wood burning stove.  That’s a great, warm place to snuggle.  Enjoy the beautiful snow there. I have not been to Utah, but a friend of mine lived there for awhile.  From her photos it looks like a picturesque state.  Stay warm! -Nicole

  10. Maxine says:

    Nicole,

    First time to comment, but I have been vicariously living as your neighbor. You are a gifted writer and make your stories come alive. I particularly enjoy your positive and joyful approach to life. Keep it up.

    Maxine, thank you so very much!  Glad to have you visit! -Nicole

  11. Holly says:

    I now live in Houston but I’m from Independence,Missouri originally.The only thing I miss about mid-west winters is playing in the snow.We have actually had snow a few times since Christmas 2004(my daughters 1st Christmas).But it does not last long.My husband is from the West Indies and lived in Waterbury,Connecticut for a while but he does not like snow and decided to move to a warmer climate.I have many wonderful memories of fun times with my brothers in the snow.

    Hi Holly!  There are things I miss about Houston, too…but I don’t envy you in the summer with the mosquitoes!  ;) Thanks for commenting!  Hugs, Nicole

  12. Gay Carolyn says:

    You all are so lucky. I LOVE SNOW. Here in Washington County Maryland we don’t get much snow anymore. I wear my snowflake earrings and necklaces all winter hoping to bring snow. I just don’t understand people who can’t seen the beauty in a snowfall.

    I hear ya! Thanks for the comment! Hugs, Nicole

  13. barbara says:

    reading this brought back memories of N Y and sledding with my kids. having been transferred to houston , tx. 20 yrs. ago, we are now having warm winters. Enjoy it. We miss it, (just not shoveling the driveway)

    Barbara, I moved here FROM Houston twenty years ago.  I have pictures growing up of me next to the Christmas tree in shorts and bare feet.  What I do miss about a warm weather climate is when we get snow on Easter! Don’t wanna wear a sundress and sandals then, and who wants to hide Easter eggs in slush?  But I wouldn’t change the four, distinct seasons for anything. Thanks for the visit! Hugs, Nicole

  14. Karin Weaver says:

    Thank You for your words and sharing the fun… I have a farm in Missouri but right now I am working in New York. At home they are expecting sleet, but here the snow is coming down in sheets (again)… I am a permit and compliance manager  so my job includes a lot of driving… Think I could hire your husband to be my chauffeur??? I love the snow but hate the drive. New York/Pennsylvania is beautiful but driving on them is not my forte….

    Hi Karin!  I have not had to drive long distances in snow, but have been caught in some really big ones. I’m sure having to drive a long ways often in snowstorms (like my hubby) would make me nervous. The worst ever was when we got ice and snow suddenly one year.  We were all caught by surprise.  Schools abruptly closed.  I had a ten minute drive to get my daughter, who was about four, but could not get to her because they kept shutting down roads.  I was so upset.  A gentleman got out of his truck, asked me where I was trying to go, and had me follow behind him down a windy, long back road.  All I could see were little taillights.  Thankfully, he got me to where my daughter was.  It took me an hour just to get to her.  I was a wreck.  But that doesn’t happen often, and as along as I have four wheel or all wheel drive, I have no problem.  What I don’t like driving in more is a bad rainstorm in fall.  The falling leaves are worse than ice, very slippery!  Be careful, and thank you for sharing!  Hugs, Nicole

  15. Deb Esposito says:

    Thanks for the mention of Punxsutawney Phil, my hometown Seer of Seers! While I will enjoy what is left of the winter weather I still look longingly toward an early spring.

    (Giggle)…I’m a big fan of Punxsutawney Phil!  – Nicole

  16. Joey says:

    You know Nicole, how much I HATE winter and cold and snow. Even when I was a kid, I hated winter except for the year my grandmother sewed me a red velvet iceskating dress with a skirt that puffed out when I twirled. I loved that dress and only skated to wear it. Once it got too small I was back in the house reading a book again. However, you sure made this sound like fun. I loved the pictures and the one of you flying by was SO wonderful! Sure hope you all enjoy what is left of winter. I’m headed to the beach.
    Hugs to you, Joey

    Ahhh…Joey, now now fair sayin’ your headed to the beach.  ;)  Hugs, Nicole

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