Monday, February 24, 2014

Snow Daze

When you live in the Mid-Atlantic, you have some years with no snow, a few years with a few days of snow, and the occasional freakishly large snowstorm. (Famous last words to my South African au pair - don't worry about the snow, it almost never snows here and when it does, it melts by the next day. That was the winter of 2009-2010 when we had a record breaking 56 inches of snow. I still feel badly about that, though we had a lot of fun and that winter is the reason Connor and Helen think we live in a snowy climate.)

Because our snow usually melts within a few days - sometimes, more quickly than that, we are trained to take advantage of the snow when we have it. This year, we had 3 decent snowfalls. And by decent, I mean there was snow on the ground for at least a few hours. It, along with extremely cold days, resulted in several days with no school and a couple of days with delayed school. Ed also scored a few days off from work and a few days a late arrival. Here's what we did.
  • Mud sledding! The first snow that resulted in a school closure and federal government closure was virtually gone by the afternoon. But we grabbed two more neighbor kids and headed to the sledding hill anyway. The mud most definitely did not bother Connor. But when I landed in a large mud puddle, I thought it was less than awesome. My washing machine got a lot of use that day.
  • Helen skied down the hill by our home. Our most recent snow was a good one. Before the plows came through, Helen took a few runs down the hill and came back reporting that there were moguls on the street and she successfully maneuvered through them. I'm sad not to have a photo of this, because it would be a great one to show her when she's older and wonders why she was so impressed with that hill.
  • Ed and I went cross-country skiing. Many years ago, Ed's parents gave us cross-country skis. We try and take them out anytime we can. Lucky for me, Ed is very smart and knows the snow will melt quickly and the plows will come, so he got me out early the day after our only really good snow. We got a few miles under our belt and I called it cross training for the day.
  • Connor and his friend went flying over a manhole cover on the sledding hill at the park behind his friend's house. How neither of them managed to break something is still beyond me. Ed tried the maneuver once and caught enough air that the sled was toast after that.
  • Purchased two new sleds. (Helen finally gave up the toddler sled and Ed broke our existing sled - see above.)
  • Made snow cream - just like in Little House in the Big Woods! This was a huge hit.
  • Built a snow sofa.

  • Practiced whacking snowballs.

  • Built tiny snowmen.

  • Built an upside down snowman which was quickly a snow pile. Gravity. It works.
  • Went skiing in Vermont with cousins, Wisp and Whitetail with friends, and Liberty with family. Total ski days for the kids this year are 10 - with hopes of getting another one in before the season ends. Connor can ski every trail at each of the local mountains, and has progressed to wanting to do moguls, jumps, and everything else daring. I've already asked Ed to handle the resulting ER visits this will surely cause. Helen is skiing both green and blue, and is a better skier than she gives herself credit for. We need to head out West next year to get her another week of lessons to build her confidence up a bit more.
  • Scored a make-up day at school because of all the lost instruction time. But guess what? I'm planning on letting Connor play hooky that day. It only seems right. Now I just need to get caught up at work so I can do this!
  • Ran in the snow - fun! and the ice - not fun!
  • Drank LOTS of hot cocoa (Helen and me).
  • Indoor swimming when we stayed at a hotel near Whitetail.
Things we failed to do:
  • Light a fire in our fireplace, which was decommissioned when we had birds, but since the birds are dead, we could start using it anytime.
Although Spring visited us this past week, we may get one last breath of winter with some snow on Wednesday this week. Maybe we'll get that fire lit after all.


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