--November 21, 2016.
The snow fell heavily, as the storm outside began to blow patches of white through the trees. It was early morning on a weekday, the street lamps were still lit, as we stayed snug in our warm beds. Sunrise had already arrived, yet the light through our frosted windows, dimmed the daylight into the dark, misty light only found in the midst of a storm. One by one, our daily alarms went off, awakening the house to another predictable day. While wiping our eyes and awakening, we were unaware of the gift that we were all about to receive.
The storm raged on and it became more difficult to see through falling blanket of snow. The world outside became a soft cushion of white velvet, without any movement in sight. The glistening puffs of snow in the trees looked like they were holding clouds of cotton candy, as wind began to shape the drifts of snow into natural rifts and valleys, in the front yard. Like young children, we watched in wonder as the wind whirled the snow into cyclones outside our windows, turning it into something almost mystical. At times, we could hear the strong gusts blowing around us and almost through the house, as if to confirm that winter had finally arrived.
All was white, as schools were announced closed for the day. Parents and their children all had the same childish grin of excitement as they stared out at the blistering snow storm, which had the power to change their routine schedules of work and school. As the snow now piled up, it all seemed more hopeless, or in our eyes more hopeful. Hopeful that we could all share this one day together, outside of the separation that we usually endure from the trappings of our regular weekdays. One day, which held the promise of allowing us the time to enjoy each others company, totally out of our control, as if someone greater had granted it.
As 9:00am came, we were all still together, when usually each of us would be miles apart.
With the morning shoveling done, all snuggled under one big blanket, the shutters were left open to watch the continuing flurry of snow outside. It was fun, to share stories, to share laughs, and to simply have the time to spend together. Hot tea, cookies, and presence of emergency candles, only made that old house cozier. The glow of our smiles warmed our hearts, as we listened to our childrens stories, told in their own special words. Yet, while staring out through our cold and frosted windows, we knew that this was only borrowed time, and that soon our freedom would end. For that reason alone, we all made sure we would not waste it.
By noon, the storm still had not died down, as the snowdrifts covered the tops of the outer hedge and the front gate became trapped in its closed position. The sidewalk mini-tractors had not yet made their rounds, probably awaiting the end of the heavy snowfall. After again going out and clearing a path to the front door, it was time to bring out the entertainment. We all felt the excitement as the playing cards, the Cribbage board, Skip-Bo, Masterpiece, and of course Trivial Pursuit, were brought to the table. For the next few hours, it did not matter what the weather was like outside, for we knew that inside we were having the time of our lives, together.
Our seclusion on that day brought us closer together, more than any one of us could have imagined. A day where nothing spectacular had happened, yet which would turn into a day that each of us would remember.
With todays world demanding more of our time for work and for school, we simply allow these special times to slip by us, rarely thinking of how much more quality they bring to our lives. Our everyday stresses will always be there, yet the precious time we get to share with our families will not.
Whether nature reminds us to or not, we should all be amazed at the ability of a simple snow-day to bring us all back to what is important, to what is real, to what is always waiting right here in our own Southwest Corner.