We scoffed at the little green sled Arlo got from Christmas from his great Aunt this year. Not because it wasn't a great & thoughtful present but because we knew in all reality that he might never have the chance to actually use it. If are a long time reader here, you might remember the post about our last snow day a couple years back. Which ended in fits of horror, cold complaining children and one very (near violent) sled spill we still blame for our utter resistance to ever try it again. It wasn't fun. Not even a little. But the pictures were pretty and the memory is something we will revisit year after year, remembering how it all went wrong and how it poisoned all future snow dreams down the line, for at least half a decade.
This time, like some kind of shinny end year miracle, the snow came to us.
The night before I had logged on to Facebook and had seen a friend's post showing snow falling a mile or two from us. Lo and behold, as I sat there in the dark watching a movie upstairs I looked out and saw that the day's steady rainfall had turned to snowflakes without me even noticing, a stream of white flakes lit by our street lamp falling gently under that otherwise familiar, bleak orange glow. We tried to wake the kids, to avail. They were exhausted and refused to budge. Mike and I gave up and sat and watched what we thought would be the last of it together and then fell asleep just past midnight.
The next morning we all woke in shock. Our surrounding home hills covered in thick blankets of white snow. It wasn't something anyone had anticipated. So not something we had stalked the weather reports trying to secure proof of it like other big storms they come to warn us of that never come to fusion. Seemingly, it all came out of nowhere. Which made it that much more incredible.
The rest of the day played out like a dream. A rushed 6am drive to the nearby hills in the Land Rover which proved to be about as warm and cozy as a tin ice box on cold day. We bounced around the roads in that thing all morning, finding new and heavier pockets of white as we roamed. Up the mountain, to the hills, back home to pack on more layers, to the neighborhhod down the road where we spent the rest of the afternoon, where the real snow seemed to settle most. An overwhelming sense of joy helping outweigh our poorly prepared get ups, and backseat full of painfully frozen feet.
There were sled rides and lots of laughter. Tears, and a trip to the local Save On to replace our pathetic glove options. Rex ate snow, Leon tried (and succeeded!) at sledding and Arlo joined his dad on a more trying treck up the mountain side where their four wheel drive went out at the top and they were forced to slip and slide their way back down the icy hillside road (with plenty more details I don't care to ever fully know about) They chucked snowballs at their brothers and random kids out in the streets. People poured out of their houses and offered us hot chocolate, eager to share stories of the night before. Of an entire community crowding the streets at 2 am to catch the snowfall.
December 29th is a day we will remember forever. The excitement of waking up to surprise snow. The heartache in leaning that your snowmen doesn't last very long when the sun does decide to return, the thrill of that brand new sled slicing through the ice, and the cold ride in a metal car where baby sat so sweet and stoic on the hood for all those photos with his little red nose, hands tucked inside those makeshift sock mittens that had tried desperately all morning to pick up a piece of snow to have and taste as his own. Hot coffee, wet feet, and a neighborhood full of sledding boogie boards, in true Cali style clad in pajamas and sweatshirts, me in my silly leather moccasins. And that one big magnificent snow man in a sombrero on the corner, already shrinking in the sunlight as we drove away. Our spare tire packed with a heap of snow to try and ease Rex's blues after watching us drop his enormous snowball onto the pavement trying to heave it up onto the car for saving, breaking into all kinds of less impressive pieces.
It was perfect.
Every minute of it.
And the very best way I can possible imagine, to bid farewell to 2014.
Hoping you all had a joy filled new years too,