Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Days and Other Miracles

While my extended family on the east coast has experienced repeated record breaking snowstorms this year, we have been enjoying a relatively easy winter.  The temperatures have been very cold with even colder wind chills, but the snow has come in civilized amounts—an inch or two at a time, maybe 3 or 4 now and then.  Just enough to keep things winter-white and beautiful, but not so much that roads were treacherous or schools were closed. 

That of course, ended yesterday.

I knew we were in for a biggun when the university, which closes as rarely as possible, announced late Tuesday afternoon that we’d be closed on Wednesday.  I was surprised, because usually that decision is not made until the wee hours of the morning on the day in question.  When I went to bed last night, the snow was just beginning to fall ever so gently, ever so nicely, and I began to think that the predicted “Snowpocaplypse” would be a “Nopocalypse”

Barb's tree.  Our yard!
My first peek out the bathroom window this morning told me that I was both right and wrong.  Of course, there is nothing apolcalyptic about a major snowstorm in Michigan in January, but neither were the forecasts off the mark.  The storm had come in full force and in the early morning hours it was still snowing pretty hard and the winds were fierce.  It was hard to tell how much snow had fallen—there was so much  blowing and drifting.  But it was enough.  Enough that one of our neighbor’s 40 foot trees fell  into our backyard.  The fence between our properties broke its fall, and its fall broke the fence, but at least it didn’t fall onto either house.  The storm was enough to warrant school closures across the state.   The storm was bad enough that I was relieved to stay home from work today, even though my commute is an easy seven miles.  It was enough that even Al decided to work from home, both of us grateful for the internet connections that allow us to stay safe but keep up with necessary duties.

Al keeping up with necessary duties. With drifting, snow ranged from 1-4 ft.
Not-so-necessary duties.

I drank my morning coffee in the warmth and comfort of our family room which looks out over our backyard.  I watched the squirrels and birds feasting at the feeders and watched the snow blowing wildly, swirling and gusting through the trees.  Snuggled under a blanket, cat on my lap, dog at my feet, and  hot beverage in hand, I thought about how incredibly lucky we are to have a safe and warm house, plenty of food, good health, and no significant worries. I thought about how it didn't have to be that way. I thought about how many things could have worked out differently and I realized yet again how truly blessed we are.


And for this miracle, I am beyond grateful. 
Pippi, the 100 year old dog, still plays in the snow!

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