My kids and I are Canadians real bad and we crave the snow. We’re not Canadians enough to, you know, actually live in Canada or even to have watched a complete hockey game in the past six months. But we are Canadian enough to eat poutine, to wear toques, and to think we know how to drive in the snow.
Except for Wanda.
She is nine and her snow-driving skills are sub-par.
But we live in the Pacific Northwest, where our closeness to salty water and mountains strands us in a sea of grey almost-snow all winter long. Some years we get nary a flake. And we mourn so hard.
This year the Farmer’s Almanac predicted a wet and mild winter and we made peace with our snowlessness. But then the weather channel app started messing with us.
10% chance of frozen joy sprinkles.
100% CHANCE OF SNOW!!!
But we didn’t believe it. They’ve burned us before. When it finally fell, we were so excited.
We expected an inch or two and that was enough to make us crazy with joy.
We got snow. We got more snow. We got freezing temperatures.
Over TWO FEET of snow fell in about a week in a place where school will be canceled if a rumor circulates that half an inch of snow sent Seattle a spam email once.
School was canceled.
We didn’t get in any driving practice for Laylee’s impending driver’s test. She didn’t feel up to practicing her parallel parking.
We played a Catan mega game and no one even cried.
We drank hot chocolate by the gallon and made cinnamon rolls and did puzzles and burned half an Ent in our fireplace.
The kids made snow men and snow poffs.
Our power went out Monday night and Dan and I got up at 4am to start the generator. And restore heat and refrigerator power. When he went to pull the cord, this happened.
We spent over an hour repairing the pull cord multiple times (it kept breaking) and trying again and again to start the generator. Then we said a prayer. And tried again. And it worked on the first pull!
So we had heat and refrigeration and Minecraft. We were hooked up! And the snow kept falling, even as the temperatures warmed up.
At one point our two-story vaulted metal roof got melty enough that it roof-alanched all of its snow in one massive 5-foot-tall hard-packed mound at the side of the house.
So, of course, they sculpted a sled ramp that ran from the side of the house all the way down and through the forest owned by our neighbor.
There are benefits that come from allowing your fence to be reclaimed by the moss and slugs of the pacific northwest. Those benefits include turning your yard into a deer highway and having easy access to sled-trespass on your neighbor’s property during Snowmageddon.
A couple other Snowpocalypse highlights were:
Dan working from home
hauling wood for the fire using the kids’ sleds in the middle of the night
watching Dan zoom out of our driveway to go help a friend and leave an 11-inch-deep tire tread in the snow
eating “snow” cones at our awesome neighbor’s house next to a driveway campfire
using my thermal cooker when the power was out
reading by the fire as a family
There will be consequences for this week. The kids have already missed five days of school and had one late start and they’re still home until more of the snow melts. Those days will have to be made up at the end of the year. This is going to wreak havoc with summer plans and youth conference schedules.
The trampoline looks unnaturally stretched and the back deck is suffering under the weight of several inches of unmelted snow.
These are just the consequences for our family and they’re pretty minor. I know other people have suffered much more being stuck and cold and injured on the roads and hungry. I feel terrible for them and we’ve prayed every night that people would be safe and we’ve offered to help where we could.
But, there is nothing our being stressed or anxious or mad will do to change the snow or keep people safe or make the school year any shorter. It will just make us miserable.
So, we choose to celebrate it. It’s been a fat party for a week and a half and we have made amazing memories. Thank you, Mother Elsa. We have LOVED the freeze!