Small Hands in the Big World

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let It Snow... and Rain and Freeze

Local newscasters dubbed our recent storm “Winter Extreme” and “Slushmageddon.” Call it what you will, our days of snow and freezing rain was a brutal combination.

Like so many storms, it started as a gorgeous Winter Wonderland. A lovely dusting of snow fell on Sunday and we treasured the brightness and muffled quiet it draped over our yard and woods.
It wasn't much snow on that first day but certainly enough for sledding

Daddy gives Sara a boost
It didn't take long for our hill to turn to a slushy, muddy mess but that didn't stop our kids
The girl loves to lay in the snow
The boy loves to walk in the woods
They both love being goofy
More snow came on MLK Day (no school) and we spent almost the whole day outdoors. Bundled up in our coziest gear, we sledded down every vertical surface in the neighborhood.

Despite all of the fun we had on Monday, William cried when he heard that schools were closed on Tuesday due to road conditions; that boy loves Kindergarden. Later, it warmed up and rained, making the streets safe for us to get around. Considering the forecast, I figured we better get out while we could. Sara missed her morning preschool but made up for it by joining William all afternoon in his Kindergarten Enrichment program and I made a trip to the grocery store.

We woke to several inches (and more snow falling) on Wednesday. Naturally, more sledding ensued plus we made more snow angels, snowmen and snowladies, caught snowflakes on our tongues and tried to check them out under magnifying glasses after letting them fall on cold black paper. However, the unusually powdery small flakes didn’t show much shape under our magnifiers… later those flakes turned to freezing rain, driving all of us indoors for hot cocoa.
Aren't hummingbirds amazing? How do these little guys stay warm in weather like this?!
The hummingbird feeder was frozen solid the following morning. When I went out to retrieve the feeder and warm it up, I noticed a shiny thick layer of ice atop the snow and ice coating everything. This is when things started to get interesting…

Rob returned from his morning run (no, this dedicated runner doesn’t let ice or snow or freezing rain stop him) with reports of transformers blowing and flaming power lines down across the street with neighbors hollering “TURN BACK!!!!” as he calmly jogged along. Not that it stopped him from going again the next day, even he admitted, “yeah, it really wasn’t a good morning for running.”

The kids loved walking on top of the snow with their feet only breaking through every fourth or fifth step with a satisfying crunch. And the big sheets of ice were great fun for them to shovel, lift and break and even taste…   
Sitting on a snow bench
He means business

Ice Lanterns (propped three small sheets of ice together and added a votive candle) would have been beautiful at night but so much snow and ice was falling that the flames were quickly extinguished
Sledding on the slippery icy surface would have been thrilling but it was out of the question with the cacophony of thunderous cracks and snaps coming from the woods around our house. We weren’t about to head anywhere near the woods or anywhere with power lines overhead. Crushing weight from the ice was taking everything down.

It didn’t take long for our flickering lights to darken to a total blackout. Silence… no fridge humming, no computer “thinking,” no Pandora radio, no heater blowing, just quiet. Well, all quiet except for the kids shouting their very animated reactions to everything suddenly turning off. 
To be continued (when I'm not rushing off to pick a kid up at preschool)...
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