I am of the firm opinion that one should always celebrate the occasion of the first snowfall of the season. It spit snow yesterday and I was right on the fringe of breaking into celebration, but it didn’t stick. It was really not a very impressive snowfall, so it cannot be considered the first snowfall of the season. They said we could expect a couple inches of snow this afternoon, but I am about to close up my study for the day and winter night is falling and we have not had a flake of snow all day.
In the winter of 1991 we lived in a country home nestled in a pleasant valley on a small farm situated on a dead-end road. It was in the heart of God for us to live there for a few important years when our older children were small. After dinner one winter night Lois promised to make cookies if I would drive into Danville for butter, or milk, or flower, or sugar—the details escape me.
The girls came along. Holly and Heidi. Hannah was only two. She stayed home. Hope would not be born for years. I started the van to warm it up. It was a cold night in December. When the car was warm we all got in and aimed it toward town. I found Christmas songs on the radio. We drove out Rutledge Road and turned on to State Route 36 and out over the dark Kokosing River. We drove over the river into the tiny village of Millwood. Nothing was open there. We turned north on 62 toward Danville. As we climbed up out of the village it happened. Just about the time we reached the first cemetery (There are two small cemeteries on the road between Millwood and Danville). It’s been eighteen years, but the memory is sweet and fresh in my mind. It began to snow. At first just a swoosh of snow in front of the headlights but on the way home it was enough to gather on the windshield. The girls cheered; “Daddy, it’s snowing! It’s snowing, Daddy.”
I had to use the wipers to see my way home. We sang with the carols on the radio and celebrated the adventure of a snowfall in the country. Soon we were enjoying the warmth of our home again. Cozy, together, well, well-fed, happy, together, and able to enjoy our cookies. The girls remind my of that winter ride sometimes. It reminded me a little of the adventure of a sleigh ride.
About ten minutes ago Hazard our Yorkie from Kentucky who was born after the snow melted this spring, went to the back window and began to bark like we were being invaded by Martians. There was snow falling.
Holly and I have an almost daily car ride together. We talk and go over the day. Sometimes we pray. Heidi and I don’t run errands anymore. She celebrates the first snowfall-but not with me. The day after Thanksgiving I took her for our last walk together. I walked her down the center aisle at Evangel and she walked back out with someone else… her fine, new husband, Austin.
I am reduced to cell-phone calls and following her Facebook page now. She lives in Wisconsin, where there is a lot of snow. It snowed there the other day and the went a cut a fresh Christmas tree in the snow. Now they are making their own memories.
If you still have a little girl at home, take every opportunity to find things to celebrate while you can. December is a great month for that.
December 14, 2009