Soft, white snow
covers the trail.
Silent,
until children and dog tear through fresh powder,
dancing among flakes of magic,
floating, like puffs of hot breath in cold air.

Inside, we pull off wet boots and soaked socks and mittens,
our cheeks, deep pink.
our hands aching with cold.
With hot chocolate cupped between our red, chafed hands
and wrapped in woolen blankets,
we settle under
stacks of books, bowls of popcorn
and watch movies while puddles grow
larger on the mudroom floor.

Early dismissal yesterday.  I was on my way home from Asheville.  Harper Lee’s teacher kept both my kids until I could get there.  She gave them each a snack and a safe place to stay.  Life in a small town.  What a blessing.

The woods were filling up quickly, particularly our newly cut trail. 
This is our “winter teepee” that they built two years ago.  It’s still
a good one.  There is no better playground than the woods.

Then, the fun began– snow angels, catching snow on our tongues, a long walk.  I would say that we also had snowball fights, but the snow is so powdery, it doesn’t stick well, so it was more like a snow mist fight, which I like better anyway.  Hate to admit it, but I have always despised snowball fights.  Even when I was little.  I don’t like getting hit with things.  And, believe me, I’m always the one getting hit.  It sucks.  So I generally beg off that particular activity, which seems to frustrate everyone.  Hey, man, we like what we like, and that’s OK.  I’ll build snowmen all day long, but snowballs are not for me.  I’m exercising my right to NOT be slammed up side the head with a packed ball of ice and then have it melt into my ear.  (Water in my ears is a whole other story– let’s just say, I’m not a fan of that either.)

As night fell, the snow got deeper than this and school was cancelled for another full day.  Before I’d even opened my eyes this morning, I heard the clomp of boots across the mudroom floor and the slam of the back door.  They have played, off and on between cups of hot chocolate, all day.

And lest you leave this post under the false impression that I lead one of those perfectly “bloggy” lives  with a perfect house and perfect kids making perfect crafts and reading only the best in children’s literature as we placidly sip our warm cocoa, let me assure you that in between rosy cheeks and warm fireplaces, there have been lost things in the snow (both plastic robot pieces and a fairly expensive GoPro camera piece that belongs to Daddy) and the tears to go with them; an exploded cup of hot chocolate in the microwave that was removed in panic and dumped down onto three stove eyes, the cabinets, the oven doors, and a large portion of the kitchen floor; bickering about whose mittens belong to whom (to the point that I considered flinging myself in front of the next snow plow); and, I kid you not, a pair of scissors stabbed– yes, stabbed– into the fleshy part of my palm.  This, fortunately, was not the result of incessant whining and my inability to take it anymore, but was, instead, the result of a container of Elmer’s glue that just. would. not. cooperate.

So… I said all that to say that despite happy pictures of smiling children in the snow, we all have those “the cat just puked on my sweater” kind of days.  Just so you know.

Happy snow day, everybody!

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