Day 22 – Snow day

When you’re an adult, winter snows are more hassle than magic. You find yourself thinking about things like shoveling the sidewalks and how much of a pain it’s going to be to put on your boots and coat to drag the garbage cans out to the curb. You dread driving, knowing that if school and work aren’t canceled, you’re probably going to count on your commute being doubled if you want to navigate the partially-plowed streets and get where you need to go safely.

Today, we got a rare snow day here in Lincoln, and without the usual pressure of actually having to go out and try to drive on the freshly-zambonied streets, I had a moment to look outside and appreciate the stark beauty of the freshly falling snow.

What always strikes me about a good snowfall is the silence–how the whole world seems to pause and hold its breath for those few hours, fat white flakes drifting down lazily from gray skies.

As kids, we lived for snow days. I remember how intently we used to watch the accumulation, how many nights we used to go to sleep quietly praying for classes to be canceled so we could spend the day out in it doing what kids do. The best years were when we still lived in Bird City, Kansas. The town was small enough that a healthy level of shenanigans were often tolerated. Packs of errant children traveled from house to house, building snowmen and forts, hurling snowballs at each other, and leaving snow angels in our wake.

The streets in Bird City were so wide that the snow was often plowed and piled high in the middle of the streets. Those looming piles served as sledding hills. They also became launching pads when we rounded up sleds and inner tubes and tied ski ropes to the back of someone’s pickup truck. One year, our babysitter Kaylee and some of her friends pulled us all the way out the Thresher Show grounds. The kids piled in the cab of the truck to thaw while some high school boy took his turn on the inner tube. I remember us all laughing as the driver spun doughnuts in the big empty field, the boy on the tube holding on for dear life as the tube slid and bounced and occasionally took flight.

I remember one year, when my family was still living in a small bungalow on Bird Avenue, the snow fell and blew and drifted so high that it reached the eaves of the house and garage. Lindy and I had finally reached the age where Mom was letting us stay home alone without a babysitter. My friend Mandy came over mid-morning, and we were having a blast trying to build a snow fort when I noticed a few of the drifts had gotten so high against an old outbuilding behind our garage that you couldn’t even tell where the tin roof ended and the snowdrift began. We could reach the edge of the roof by climbing the the gate of the dog pen and hoisting ourselves up over the edge. We spent an hour or so carving out a winding track from the peak of the roof to the edge, where we piled and packed a large wall of snow which we thought would keep us from flying off the edge.

I climbed to the peak of the roof, set my inner tube in the track, and launched myself down, screaming in delight as I picked up speed. It was the closest to an Olympic luge I will likely ever get and I loved every second of it, even when I hit the wall of snow at the roof’s edge and flew, inner tube and all, into the air. The snow below was so deep and powdery that it absorbed the shock from my less-than-graceful landing. I emerged from the snowdrift howling with laughter and scrambling, fast as I could, back up onto the roof to try it again.

We had a good hour or two of uninterrupted fun until my parents showed up to put a stop to it. Of course one of the neighbors had called them at work to give a full report of what we were up to.ย Typical small town for ya–doesn’t matter what you’re doing, good or bad, your parents are bound to find out about it within the hour.

And that was the end of it. I was banished to the house for the rest of the day and lectured on how I better just stay away from that old building from now on. It was bad enough that we’d spent the better part of the morning climbing up to the peak of what was probably a 20-foot roof. But worse was the fact that the building belonged to a gentleman named Edgar, who just happened to manage the bank where my mom and Mandy’s dad worked. like to think Edgar was amused by our ingenuity. He never came out and said anything to us, but he would always smile and wave a finger at us when we stopped by the bank after school to beg our parents for snack money. And he let us spend a lot of afternoons there, pounding away on the old typewriters in empty offices or sorting loose change in the old hand cranked coin counter.

Even now, that was probably my favorite snow day ever. Staring out the window today, I still smile just thinking about it. And you know what? I have zero regrets.

Summer Fun

Somewhere in the midst of the sleepless nights, the dirty diapers, the temper tantrums and the endless “No. No! NO!!!” of parenting, there is a whole lot of fun, especially if you’re willing to take some time off, let your kids be kids, and go along for the ride.

Since coming back from our NY trip, it’s been go, go, go around here. Between housework, deadlines, photo assignments, finishing up projects for my sister Kassie’s wedding next week, and Steven and I starting the Insanity workouts, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. So, when I got a chance to take a day off to meet up with my friend Cristen and her son Julian for a playdate, I jumped at the chance, loaded Cadence up in the car, and headed out for some fun.

Since Cristen lives down in Kansas, we chose the town of Marysville as our meet-up spot. It’s a little over halfway for me, but it’s got an AWESOME park with tons of things for the kiddos to climb on, jump off, slide down, and run around to keep them busy for hours. Knowing that it was supposed to be in the 90’s, we brought along a couple garden hoses, just in case the kiddos got overheated and needed a little cooling off.

Cadence has talked about her friend “Julley” since she first met him over a month ago. The two hit it off immediately on our first playdate, and Cadence has been smitten ever since. The moment the two of them stepped out of the cars, they hugged, and then hurried off to play.

Seriously, how adorable are these two???

After playing a bit, the kiddos started asking for lunch, so we spread out a blanket and had ourselves a little picnic. Then, it was time for real crazy fun to begin…

When we turned on the hose, Julian wasn’t quite sure he wanted to get wet. Cadence, on the other hand, barreled right in and was soaked within minutes. I’m sure Julian was wondering what the heck was up with this wild girl…

But as soon as he saw a big muddy puddle to jump in, Julian couldn’t help but join in the fun. And, of course, as soon as Julian’s shirt came off, Cadence couldn’t keep hers on. I’m sure, someday, she’ll be embarrassed by these photos, but hey, how do you explain to a 2-year-old that it’s more ladylike to keep your shirt on? You’d be wasting your breath even trying.

The funniest part was, the wetter Cadence got, the lower her pants sagged. Now, to be fair, if I’d thought she would be running around like a little gangsta, I probably would have put a different pair of pants on her, but I actually thought they might fit. I mean, they’re 18-month size. She’s 2 1/2. They should fit by now, right?

Wrong.

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked. Steven said a bunch of the adults on his block gave him the nickname “tush-less” growing up because he was so skinny. Looks like Cadence might have inherited his skinny butt gene.

And you know it was only a matter of time before Cadence’s full-speed sprinting through the puddles with drooping pants caught up to her. We had a minor two-kid pile-up, but Cadence and Julian just laughed it off and headed off to find a bigger puddle to jump in…

There are so many fun photos from the day, but I definitely think these are my favorites, because they seriously remind me of The Beatles Abbey Road. If we had two more kids in the playdate, we might have been onto something…

Cristen and I got a little nervous when we saw the police truck slowly drive by. We hoped we weren’t violating some sort of water restriction or something, and both held our breath for a moment wondering how the kiddos would fare if their Momma’s got hauled to jail. But the cops must have seen that it was just a couple kids having fun in the sprinkler and went on their way. Phew!

Cadence took a quick apple break…

While Julian teased his Mom and threatened to sit on her with his soggy wet butt…

Seriously, how cute are these two?

Aaaaaahhhhh! ๐Ÿ™‚

And the think I love best about hanging out with a fellow photographer and her kid is that I’m not the only weirdo rolling around on the ground with a camera glued to my face. Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, Julian decided he’d had enough of the water, and spent a few moments trying to convince Cadence to get her clothes changed so they could head back to the playground…

But Cadence had to take a few last turns in the puddle before she was done for the day…

Back in the park, Julian taught Cadence how to climb the ropes, and they played until they were too tired to stand anymore…

Then, with a few quick hugs, Cadence and I said goodbye to our friends Cristen and Julian, and headed back home after a great day. Can’t wait to do it again! ๐Ÿ™‚