Posts Tagged ‘cocoa’

12418831_10156581337870105_1847855357891011100_oDear Lyla,

When I was little my sister and I would listen to the nightly weather with great interest and intensity during the winter months. We hoped to hear the words “nor’easter” or “white-out conditions.” Living in Minnesota meant that we almost always went to school unless a storm of apocalyptic proportions was making its way to the north central region of the state; even when severe predictions were made a snow day was never a guarantee and was never called the night before! Fast forward more years than I care to count, and here I am scouring the various weather outlets tracking “Winter Storm Kayla.” The discussions between Daddy and I are “will it pass us to the North,” “will it be as severe as they predicted or will it be a light dusting not worthy of all the angst we have seen televised, tweeted and texted over the past few days,” and “will Tuesday be a snow day?” Of all of these questions the last is of the utmost importance. Our contemplation of Tuesday’s forecast is not due to worry about missing a day of school, rather it means the three of us will be together with no classes, meetings or events to distract our family unit. When I was your age a snow day meant building forts, making snowmen and snow angels with my sister until we couldn’t feel our fingers and our scarves were crusted over with the ice. After frolicking in the snow my sister and I would waddle back into the house to be greeted by Grandma Jo with a hot cup of cocoa and a crackling fire. In retrospect it seems like it took forever for us to warm up again; we took great delight in snuggling deep into the blankets and spending the rest of the afternoon reading or playing board games. Snow days are the best! It was true then and it is still true today; a snow day can liberate a person in the most unexpected ways. So here’s to hoping the snow falls heavy tomorrow Little One; here’s to hoping for a bonus family day this week that is unencumbered by obligation and mundane distraction.

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lyla snowDear Lyla,

Last night as we were watching the weather and waiting to see if the “snowpocalypse”  would find its way to our neighborhood I was surprised to hear you hope for school to be cancelled. You love school and miss your friends terribly over the weekend. Then it dawned on me; you have been hanging around Daddy too much. I find it amusing that high school teachers are just as thrilled to have a snow day as their students. Perhaps you were excited at the prospect of Daddy staying home with you so you could spend some time together. Maybe you will convince Daddy to bundle you up so you can make snow angels and then come in for some well-deserved cocoa and a viewing of one of your many animated films. Whatever mischief you two decide to get into on your snow day I am sure that by the time you are my age you will look back with nostalgia. As you know I grew up in north central Minnesota; we had lots of snow and cold weather but snow days weren’t as common as you might imagine. Minnesotans are well equipped for snow and it is a rare occasion that the fluffy white stuff stops them in their tracks. When I think back to the snow days I spent at home when I was your age I remember two things; hot cocoa and the fireplace. Bumpa worked regardless of the weather; he had things to check on and he wasn’t going to let a little snow get in his way. That left us home with poor Grandma who was used to spending her mornings in relative peace. She would indulge us on snow days by letting us stay in our jammies until mid-morning. Then we were instructed to put on our winter gear and head outside. I know that my sister and I would haul in wood on those days, as the fireplace was our central form of heat in the main house, but it is but a fleeting memory. What I do remember is rolling down the big hill to the lake and trudging back up again. I remember making snowmen, snow-angels and forts and getting my hat and mittens so caked with snow that you could not make out the original color of the fabric. Grandma would call us back in before we turned to little blocks of ice ourselves. As soon as we stepped inside the heat from the fireplace immediately started to melt the snow. It wasn’t until we felt the warm air on our skin did we realize how cold we had been and just how wet we were.  The feeling of my socks and pant legs wet and sticky after being outside in the elements is still one of the most unpleasant sensations to date. Grandma would instruct us to shed our wet clothes as she made hot cocoa on the stove for us from scratch. My sister and I would head to the living room and sit either on the hearth right next to the fire or curl up close by in a chair with a blanket and the dog. Back then we didn’t have 24/7 cable or satellite and reception was spotty at best during snow storms so we would settle in for the day with a good book. My sister preferred Nancy Drew books while I was drawn to Little House on the Prairie and the Anne of Green Gables series; Grandma read romance novels. Those days seemed so perfect in retrospect. As if somehow for a day time stopped and all rules were suspended. It was as if Mother Nature was making sure we took a mental health day. While I am at work today I hope that you and Daddy break some rules. Have some fun and go play in the snow and when you are utterly exhausted I am sure that Gigi would love to snuggle up with her human on the couch. Ask Daddy to read your new book aloud to you, string some beads, play in some cardboard boxes or create some art. However you choose to spend your time, enjoy your snow day Little One.

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