Monday, December 1, 2008
I love the snow! What a thrill to wake up this morning and find a dusting of fresh snow covering my lawn! Here in the Mid-South, we don't get a lot of snow; it's usually more ice than anything else. It wasn't always that way.
I can well remember snows as deep as my Daddy's knees when I was a young child. Snow so deep that I couldn't walk through it, so Daddy had to carry me. Even then, I loved the snow. Daddy and Momma would bundle me up and set me out on the front porch of our little country house and let me play in the snow that had blown onto the porch. I could make snow balls and throw them and build a snowman, just as long as I didn't get off the porch because Momma was afraid she would lose me in the snow bank!
My little sisters and I would play outside in the cold and snow till our little mittened hands would ache. We would run inside squealing and Momma would remove our mittens, hang them near the old wood heater to dry and tell us to go wash our hands in cold water. So we would wash in cold water, squealing and crying out that it hurt our hands! Then, Momma would take us back to the living room and place us surrounding the wood stove and hold our hands out near it. Our hands would be so brightly red, it looked as though we had painted them Momma's bright red lipstick! They would burn and hurt for a bit, then they would feel all toasty warm again. Then, we got hot chocolate and a snack!
Those were wonderful carefree days of laughter and love when we didn't realize how blessed we were. Perhaps it's because all those wonderful memories are attached to the snow that I love it so much. I don't know for sure, I just know I love snow! After the storm passes and the snow has fallen, the skies light up and sun shines brightly upon the pure white snow and it feels like the whole world is pure and clean and fresh. It's like a chance for the universe to have a 'do over'. Maybe that's why I love snow so much. I don't know, I just know I love snow!
Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed the view of fresh fallen snow on the pastures and fields around me. I love to think of the families all snuggled in their warm homes playing games together and laughing. I love getting all bundled up in a heavy winter coat with gloves, scarves and boots and walking into the chilled air. The look of your breath vaporizing before your face! The crunch of the grass crackling under your feet. Everything about a walk in the snow energizes me. It makes me feel as though all is right with the world around me. Maybe that's the reason I love the snow; I don't know, I just know I love the snow.
At one of the darkest moments of my life, my Loving Lord sent a beautiful snowfall to remind me that He was there with me and that I could go on. It was January 19, 1995 and it was the day we buried my Maw McDonald. Maw was the center of my world since I was 8 years old. That was the age at which my Paw McDonald had passed on. I was his favorite and everyone knew it! I loved him so deeply, as deeply as could any 8 year old little girl love her Paw. I was so heart broken when he left us. It was my first experience with death and it was tragic.
After Paw passed away, my sisters and I became Maw's constant companions. We stayed at her house as much or more than we stayed at our own house. She spoiled us without shame! She also became our sitter, which only gave her more opportunity to spoil us. It was a wonderful childhood for three little girls. Where Paw had left off, Maw took up.
One Fall, Daddy and Momma decided to take a week's vacation and travel to Michigan to visit my Maw's brother, Uncle Buster and his wife, Aunt Mayena. Maw would go with us. It was fabulous! Maw, my sisters and I stayed up all night the night before we left baking cookies and making candy to eat on the trip! Maw was as big a kid as we were and enjoyed it just as much as we did!
As a teen, Maw was there for me. She bought me makeup and helped me convince Momma I was old enough to wear it. When I met my then future husband, she treated him just like one of her own from day one. She was the most accepting, loving woman and was an amazing lady all way round. When I got married and moved away from our hometown, she made the trip to visit with me every time Momma and Daddy did, always saying she had to come see her girl!
Then, when Maw became sick and her days were drawing to a close, she depended on us, my sisters and I, to help take care of her. We took our turns sitting with her at the hospital. Despite all our love and attention, her time had come to an end here and Jesus called her home to be with Him. When the day of her services came, it was cold and dreary outside and it seemed as though it made the heaviness in our hearts much harder to bear.
The service was beautiful because her life was beautiful. We gathered in the cemetery for the interment. The minister told stories of her special way of loving everyone around her and brought laughter back to all of us. Then, as the last prayer was uttered and the last flower was laid, as we began to file out of the tent, beautiful huge, wet snowflakes began to fall hard and fast. Tears rolled down our faces and someone said "Well, Maw's in heaven and she's telling us it's all okay and that she's happy and that she wants us to be happy too!" We knew that was true becuase Maw loved the snow, too!
Maybe that's the reason, I don't know; I just know I love the snow!!!!