Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts


The Book of Me, Written by You - on Snow

This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations.
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
The prompt for the week is:    

The Brief:
Do you live in area where you routinely have snow?
How old were you when you first saw snow?
Do you remember it?
Did you make snowmen?
Throw Snowballs?
Sledge Rides ?
What is the image that first came to mind when you read snow?
What does snow feel like, smell like ?
How do you see snow ?
The video is on YouTube. 
I have covered this topic a bit when I posted in this series about My Favorite Season. I do love snow and winter which is a bit strange for most people. I love or used to love going for walks when its snowing out and everything is covered in it. Its very quiet and you can hear the crunching of it under your feet. Around the holidays, like Christmas, when you go for a walk, you walk by houses that have taken the time to decorate with lights and with the falling snow its so pretty. Then add to almost no traffic and the quiet its quite magical. As I used to walk around in the snow, while hearing the crunch of it under my feet and looking at all of the lights, from time to time you could see into people's homes at the joy, happiness and love that shines through from the families that you see. That being said, as much as the views that you can see, it can bring out - especially if you walk by yourself - is the feeling of being quite alone and loneliness of not having what you are seeing. Depending on what your view is, it can bring about of both happiness and loneliness at the same time. 
Growing up
I grew up in upstate New York (around Walden, Maybrook, and Newburgh areas) and I had snow from the time I was born onwards until I moved from NY in 1997. When I was growing up, we
One of my last winter's in NY before moving to Australia
would get slammed with major snow storms from November until sometimes April. I don't think there was one child that when they looked out the window in the mornings, and didn't wish for snow because if there was snow, you would turn the radio on to see if you had either a delay or a free day off from school. The radio stations would announce if there was a snow delay (of 1 or 2 hours) or if school was cancelled for the day. 
I remember those days when it was delayed, but snowing to the point where you were frozen and couldn't see, we lived on the outside of town and would walk from there into the school - on a good day it could taken you 30 minutes and during snowing and iciness it could take you over an hour. 
Visiting the US during winter
My husband in front of both Falls in 2010 when its snowing
I remember snow very well. It was almost 4 years ago when I wanted my husband to experience true snow for the first time and we planned our trip over there in January/February. The only time we really got snow was when we went to Niagara Falls and there was a tiny bit when we landed in Fort Worth Dallas airport which ended up being cancelled because of the snow (it was less than 6 inches but it was like 3 feet to them because they just don't have the stuff very often). We ended up spending the night sleeping in the airport. 
Canadian side of the Falls when it was snowing  in 2010.
We really didn't get much snow, but it got really cold for my husband. He did some driving and that was an experience he will never forget. He did go outside with my nieces and their children to play but there wasn't enough of it to really play in. 
Did I ever go sleigh riding? Throwing snowballs? Make Snowmen? 
The hill where we used to go (along with many others) when I was young
My mother didn't have a lot of money but what we did get was one sleigh a year if we were lucky. If not then I sat down on well compacted ground that people had already used and went down the hill in my jeans and jacket with gloves and hat. With ice, I would use my sneakers on ice to ice skate. It was cheap, free and fun. 
The pond and where the house is now used to be where we would sleigh ride in 1980s.
Growing up, I spent this time with my nieces and we would go sleigh riding and making snowmen together. These pictures (above) are both places we used to visit.
Driving and Snow
My mother digging out the car in 2003
I grew up around snow and this includes driving in the stuff. I hated digging out the car, waiting while the car was warming up, and then if someone wasn't good at driving in it (or its one of the first snowfalls of the year) then you had to always watch out for other people. Its always the other people you had to watch out for because once you got on snow or ice and started to slip, you were just a passenger and couldn't control the car at all. That's a downside as well. Add that to what you had to walk around in (slush) when the snow started to melt and its a pain in the butt. However, for the beauty and magical feel of it, I still consider it well worth the trouble.
Memories of Snow
I remember one Christmas, my mother, her boyfriend, myself, my brother and sister in law went over to my father's for our presents. We all went in one car, to save everyone gas. Anyhow, we ended up leaving early, after we got tired waiting for my father, and the roads were getting bad with snow and ice. On our way home, we slowed down because we saw a snow plow that was at an intersection in front of us at the stop sign. We stopped about a car length behind it. Anyhow, as we were waiting for the snow plow to move, the driver put it in reverse and before we knew what was happening, they backed up right into our car. My mother's boyfriend and my brother got out and ran up to the driver yelling at him. The one thing that rang, and still rings, in my ears is that my sister in law was pregnant and my brother was very worried about her even though she was sitting in the backseat with us and at the other end of the car from where the plow hit. This is now we found out my sister in law was pregnant. Thankfully, the pregnancy went full term and my nephew Charles Jr was born. It was a bad and good memory wrapped up in one. 
Even today, if we were over in the US and it was snowing, I would take the time out to go for a walk and just walk around seeing the snow. It certainly is a magical time of the year.
Australia and Snow
Christmas Day 2006's hail storm
As of 1997, I don't really get to see snow any longer. Well, if we wanted to "go visit it" where they make it up on the higher elevations then we could do that, but its too much work for not enough of an award. We do get hail from time to time and my husband runs around excited at that. In a way, its very funny to watch him go nuts over some hail, but if it makes him happy then go for it. However, sometimes I still have problems dealing with not being able to do many of the things I've discussed here - driving, snowballs, sleigh riding, etc - because overall I do LOVE the snow. I'm seriously thinking about asking Santa to bring a snow making machine, so I can still have a white Christmas... I wonder if it would work...?
Check back next week for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.   

"The Book of Me, Written by You" - Favorite Season

This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations.

This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
The prompt for the week is:

My Favorite Season
The Brief
Do you have one?
A Happy/Sad Memory or association
Close your eyes and imagine your favourite season – write down what you see, feel, hear.

My Favorite Season
My favorite season is ...none. I used to like winter and the beauty of it. However, since moving to Australia, not only do they not have a real winter, to me, but the reasons why I liked winter - the crispness, the prettiness of the white snow, and the feeling that family time is just around the corner - are just not here. If you can imagine growing up having a hot summer, a wet and slightly cool autumn, or fall, then having freezing, snowy, icy and then you go to sprint which is mushy, muddy but getting warmer seasons. Then compare that with a hot summer, jumping into rainy, depressing days, then into a wet, muddy, mushy days which lead back into the warmer weather.  The whole experience of a true winter just isn't here. I think this plays into the way I feel about the seasons. As you can see by these pictures, this is as much "snow" (it was hail) that we get here in Australia. Even though Christmas is our summer, we still had hail on Christmas Day but it was gone within a few hours. My husband ran around taking these pictures on the day as he was excited about the "snow".

What I will do is take you on the adventure of what I used to like/love about the winter when I lived in the US. This way, you can see why I liked or loved it so much compared to what I have now.

Memories of why I like winter
The good times
I can remember growing up, as the year went along, the temperature would get cooler and then colder and colder. When this started to happen, I knew that snow would start soon. I always loved the snow. Growing up in a small town, I would love it when it snowed because there was no sound, there were very few cars on the street, and the snow looked like pixie dust coming down and covering everything in its magic. Usually, it was loud by people shouting at each other, music or the TV being turned either on or up, cars that kept going past in either direction - all the time and every day. When it snowed it was like everything was taking a huge break and was quiet because it was scared it would run the pixie's off. Once it had been snowing awhile, you'd look out and things - any toys, bikes, tree branches, tables and chairs - would start to disappear. It would vary in the speed - sometimes it only took an hour and other times it was a full day - before these things would disappear. Most of the time during the height of winter, you wouldn't see these items again until the snow started to disappear and temperatures started to get warmer. However, for those few months of the entire year, the yard looked well kept and magical.

When the snow arrived it also meant there would be time for family to be spending some kind of time together. My family did not do much of this, but we always tried to be together during either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Most of the time it was Thanksgiving, but there were a few occasions where Christmas was the chosen holiday to be together for the year. I enjoyed these times, because it brought the family together and we would catch up on the entire year, or try to, in a few hours.

The not so good times
That being said, there were times where I hated winter just as bad as I liked it. There were some major snow storms. Two of the major ones growing up are in 1977 and 1978.

The Great Blizzard of 1977
 The North East Blizzard of 1978

One of these times, was when my mother and father just divorced and my mother didn't have a car. We had to walk from the house all the way to the elementary school which was about a mile down the road in the blinding snow storm which was so bad that we had to walk in the middle of the road and couldn't really see anything. However, my mother thought that I would still have school and she had to go to work. By the time I got to the school, I was completely frozen and shivering. The days when we arrived only to find out there was no school and had to walk all the way back home or to my sister's (who would watch me) had me crying my eyes out. My figures were so icy cold that they tingled and my feet had been completely numb before we even got to the school and now we had to turn around and go all the way back home was a miserable thought.

However, once the temperature came up a bit and it stopped snowing, and we had to do the same walk, my mother was forever pulling me along because I just wanted to stop and look around at all snow - how much taller it was than me, how pretty everything looked covered in the snow and with the sun shining off of it, it looked like diamonds were trapped underneath just waiting for someone to come along and get them. I would walk around trying to look at all the yards, trees, and sidewalks all covered in, what I would consider, magical dust that looked like pretty diamonds. On the flip side of that walk, was my mother trying to keep her timetable of dropping me off at school so she could get to work on time a further half a mile away.

Family, to me, is important. These were the times family would take the time and sit down with you and talk about the happenings are, what the plans are and how did their last plan do. You can catch up on what's happening and who has done what. There's good times and bad to be had, but each person took the time to sit back and just relax and catch up with others.

I remember the times when everyone took the day, came over sat around in the living room to talk and catch up. Then as the day would go on, the evening meal was cooked and by mid to late afternoon everyone would pitch in and help in some way. Then we would sit down and enjoy the meal, dessert and meet back in the living room. Shortly after that, everyone would say goodnight and go home. In fact, the last time I saw my grandmother Janet, was when we actually signed her out of her home, brought her to ours for a dinner such as the one described. All the family made the effort to be there - all my sisters (which is a real feat as 2 of my sisters weren't on speaking terms), my brother, my mother, all of my nieces and nephews (and as they were young - under 10 years old) that were born, it was a huge group of us - about 15 of us in total. However, I think my grandmother did know what was happening because I could see the enjoyment sparkle in her eyes when she looked around the table.

Why stop liking the season?
I believe I stopped enjoying the season when the family had really started to stop getting together during this one time of the year. It seemed like no one had time to take just a few hours out of their busy schedules to just sit back and enjoy being with each other. There were the other times when I would get invited over to my father's house, only for his friends to arrive and it was like I was puppy instead of being sent outside, I was sent in the front room rather than be with or be acknowledged by anyone else.

My memory is of being welcomed into the house. They told me to go into the living room until people start to arrive. I go in and sit looking at the Christmas tree lights flashing on and off. I especially loved the tree topper which lit up and flashed lights all over the room. When I looked outside, I could see the faint glows of the Christmas tree lights on the snow that looked so light and fluffy because no one had walked on it yet. I could sit there for hours. As people started to arrive, I got up and my father, and in some cases, his second wife, came out and opened the door to people and welcomed them in, directing them to the downstairs area where the game room area was. If they seen me they told me to go back into the living room and they would come and get me shortly. I went back to watching the tree lights and the lights reflecting on the snow...while listening to the music, laughter, talking and the clinking of ice on glasses. After about an hour after all the guests arrived, I knew they must have forgotten about me.

This picture was taken from
Over the years, I have tried to get people together, usually when I'm visiting, but like I said, everyone's too busy these days just to take a few hours to be with others. This I find a shame because it is destroying what family is all about. 

In closing, I'm sorry this week's post is such a down post, but keep in mind sometimes the smallest thing will bring you more riches than all the money in the world. If I had all that money in the world, I would use it for bringing the smaller things to the forefront - taking time out to:
  • look at the snow
  • catchup with others
  • just be together because you love one another
After all, all the rushing around in the world, will never bring these things back if you don't stop to enjoy them. Besides, they are the cheapest things around they only cost you your time. Sometimes in life that's all that matters...

Check back next week for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.