Tag Archives: winter

Winter Wonderland

Driving through the brown farmlands of Illinois, we came around a curve and the white hills rose into view. The snow covering the ski mountain was not cloud generated, but made by snow machines. The emotions floating around in our car varied from anxiety to excitement. Emmy was vacillating between wanting to take ski lessons and wanting to drive home. Remembering the fun she had had last year, Lily could hardly wait for the day ahead.

I was along as part of the support team. I was the booted half, Ed was the half on skis. While I’m not much of a skier, Ed loves this winter sport.  While we were dating, skiing was one of the first things he wanted to introduce to me. The problem, however, is that we live in the flat Midwest. A Midwestern ski resort is not big; it’s not fancy, but it does just fine as a place to learn and have fun.

Midwest skiing

Being in boots instead of skis made it easier for me to run errands and help out, even though most of the time I was just standing still and watching Emmy and Lily become more comfortable on skis.

Emmy amazed me with how quickly she learned to maneuver on skis. She shuffled up the carpet path on the learning hill easily, skied down the hill effortlessly, and got back in line to do it all over again without ever once crossing her skis and falling down.

Lily quickly remembered what she had learned on her ski trip last year, and at the end of her lesson, she learned how to use the tow rope. Oh, that was hard for me to watch! The first time she grabbed hold of the rope, it yanked her forward so hard that she fell flat on her face. The instructor gave her some tips, and then…the rope yanked her again! She lost her skis a couple times. Lily is tenacious, however. She finally got the hang of it and was able to get to the top of the hill. She skied gracefully between all the cones on the way down, not hitting one of them.

I was so grateful that Ed had been watching the weather carefully. The temperature was about 40 degrees, but it was windy. “You look cold, Mom!” one of the ski lift operators told me as he walked by. “You need to start dancing…it’s like the potty dance, except without the ‘having to pee’ part!” I laughed as I pulled my scarf up higher over my rosy cheeks.

Cold as I was, I was content. I’m glad that my children were learning something I don’t know how to do. I’m glad they were fearless in a place where I have been frozen by fear.

Maybe next year I’ll put the skis back on and try again to get over my fear of falling; my fear of heights. I know from experience that once I get that fear behind me, I’ll love the feeling of being on skis. But this winter, it was my time to just be there, watching and supporting my girls.


Winter in Chicago

Old Man Winter

Dear Old Man Winter,

I know that you feel like the most unpopular season of the year. People complain about you all the time. It seems like nobody has anything good to say about you.

girls shoveling 2011
No one liked to shovel, right?

In a typical Chicago winter, there’s the cold, the snow, and the shoveling. And the hat hair. Oh, the hat hair!

But this winter, Sir, you’ve been very lax. You blew in some ice and some cold, and that’s it.

Where’s the snow?

If we are going to have to deal with the cold, the frost, and the drab brown landscape all winter long, I’ll be very disappointed in you.

The only ones enjoying the park right now are the geese
The only ones enjoying the park right now are the geese

Without some snow, how will we go sledding? How will we build snow forts and snowmen? How will we romp around in the white fluffy stuff and throw snowballs at each other?

My three-year-old students don’t even remember the scarce snow from last year. And when you blew in a blizzard in 2011, they were just babies. They need to play in some snow!

Lily's snow tunnel in Feb. 2011
Lily’s snow tunnel in Feb. 2011

It’s the middle of January already, and you’ve given other parts of the country snow. Fortunately, Lily and Emmy have grandparents in Iowa, so they have already been able to build their snowmen. I’m getting nervous that this will be the most snow-less winter ever.

Before the season ends and Spring comes to take your place, will you please just send us a couple inches? You don’t need to overdo it. Just a little snow will be fine.


The Lemon Drop Pie Family

Chicago skyline from inside the Shedd Aquarium--it's cold out there!
Chicago skyline from inside the Shedd Aquarium–it’s cold out there!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

I’m linking up at The Spin Cycle today! Why not try your own Spin? This week it’s Winter, next week it’s Clean. Try it, you’ll like it!


Swim to Snow

Swim to Snow

I SCREAMED as I slid down the pitch black tunnel. I pointed my toes and leaned back so that I would drop down faster, and then I screamed again. Suddenly, I burst out into the light with a big splash. Lily was waiting for me. “Did you like it?” she asked.

“Let’s go again!” I said in reply. We held hands as we bounded for the stairs. She went up quickly, lithe as a little sprite. She was soon out of sight as I lumbered up the four flights of steps behind her, but she waited for me at the top and we went down the water slides again.

bottom of slide

We were spent the morning in the hot, humid water park, splashing, swimming, and laughing. By the time our fingers were wrinkled and pruny, we went back to our hotel room, packed our bags, and bundled up. We headed out to the parking lot. Now we were slipping and sliding on the poorly plowed pavement rather than sliding down a tube of water.

That afternoon, we headed out into the sunshine and the snow. We had arrived at Grandpa’s house! The temperature was winter-warm. The snow was just right for packing into snowmen and snowballs.

making snowmen

We searched for good snowman making materials; long, curly sticks from a willow tree, dry brown leaves and smooth gray stones, plump red berries that had fallen on the snow.

Making snowmen

It was a day of opposites; swimming, water slides, snowmen and snowballs. What fun it was!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
                              Follow on Bloglovin
                              Follow on Bloglovin
Grab a Slice!