So many of my blogging buddies have been writing snow stories that I felt compelled to post one of my own out of empathy.
Just a few months after my second wedding, and even fewer months since our family had happily moved into a lovely new home in East Texas, my husband announced that he was going to take a job in Ohio, one that would last about a year. He said the pay would be good enough that he could make a lot of money in a short time, and he could fly home once every couple of months to visit.
That didn't work. We were miserable. Two months and one weekend visit later, in January of 1969, he came back to get us.
This was our first of many long-distance moves. Since it was supposed to be temporary, we boarded up our new house and traveled to Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio, where my husband had rented us somebody's quaint, furnished, summer cottage, not too far from the banks of Lake Erie. I still remember my first sight of the lake, frozen and covered with thick, powdery snow that reminded me of cake frosting. It was magnificent!
My older daughter was in first grade then. In Texas we'd joined a neighborhood carpool to get her to and from school. In Ohio, where my husband had to drive our only car to Cleveland to work each day, she'd have to walk to school. Fortunately, the schoolyard was less than a full block away, but she would have one street to cross. We bought heavy coats, leggings, mittens, stocking caps, etc. We registered her for school and took a couple of practice walks on the day before she was scheduled to start, to make sure she knew the way.
Morning came, and I bundled my daughter up in her new warm clothing and pointed her in the right direction. I was really nervous about sending this southern-born child out alone into the winter whiteness of Ohio, but I kept smiling for her sake. I watched from the doorway until she was out of sight, wiped away a tear as I closed the door, and turned my attention to the sweet four-year-old who was still at home with me.
No more than five minutes later, about the time I estimated my little schoolgirl should be arriving at her classroom, I heard a commotion on the front steps. I opened the door and there she was, cheeks as pink as her new snowsuit, blue eyes wide, struggling to catch her breath. "Mama," she gasped, "I just (hunhhhh) saw a dog (hunhhh) chasing (hunhhh) a rabbit!" Her smile was as big as her eyes. She'd made it all the way to school before she saw the rabbit-chase in the schoolyard, and she'd run all the way home through the snow to tell us about it.
That's when I knew this move would be an adventure for my kids. That's when I knew they'd be okay.