First off I want to say thank you so much for sharing your beautiful winter memories with me! I really enjoyed reading each and every one of them. You made it so hard for me to choose just one so I decided to choose four winners for the Warm Winter Memories Giveaway!!
I remember getting up early one Christmas morning when I first started living alone after my divorce. It was a cold, but sunny morning and I decided to take myself for a walk around the neighborhood to keep from feeling lonely. Being Christmas, most of the neighborhood left their lighted displays on and from within houses I could hear kids laughing and having a good time. From some houses I could smell breakfast being made and the smell of woodsmoke from the many fireplaces being lit. It was a calming, beautiful time and I realized I was going to be ok alone through the winter.
When I was a teenager there was a bad storm one year. It happened right before Christmas, on the 23rd of December. Several inches of snow fell, ice formed and power lines went down for miles around. It was obviously a VERY inconvenient time for such an event, but what could we do? The only way my family had to keep warm was to build a fire in our woodburner, which was downstairs in our basement-cum-family room. Since that was the warmest place in the house, we all slept down there that night, and to keep boredom at bay we played games until it was time to sleep. We spent the whole night in sleeping bags, warmed by the fire, giggling and playing and having a great time–something a teenager doesn’t often appreciate with her family. It is one of the best family memories I have!
My favorite winter memory happened in the winter on 1985. My beautiful daughter Kelly was 4 1/2 years old; she had been struggling to learn to walk (she has Downs Syndrome – many people with that have low muscle tone). The therapists at her school had been working very hard with her to help her walk. One day, just before the Christmas break, Kelly actually started walking down the hallway. Word spread throughout the school & the teachers & staff throughout the school threw their doors open to watch & cheer her on. I wasn’t actually there to see the very first steps she took all on her own, but every time I think of all the dedicated teachers & therapists cheering her on, it gives me goosebumps. Kelly learning to walk at that time of year, was truly the best gift I ever could have received.
As a school girl, a California winter meant being taken out of school on a Wednesday to make one-day ski trips with Mom, Dad, and my sister. One year, my parents shared a rental ski cabin for a week with another family – an extravagance for us. Before we arrived, a recent storm had dropped over four feet of snow making the Sierras look like a postcard wonderland. Little did we know the true implications of such beauty. We barely found the cabin hiding behind snow drifts. My mom wanted to turn back. My dad and I coaxed her to wait in the car with my little sister as we put on our skis to pack down a path in the snow. “We can do this Mom. Dad and I can make a path to the cabin.” What was magical from a distance proved to create a frustrating effort of falling, sinking, lifting, and flailing of legs and skis. Dad and I worked as a team, each encouraging the other when the snow seemed to overcome us. We spent almost two hours to make a narrow path of about fifty feet. The rest of the week of skiing in perfect Sierra powder is a blur in my memory now. It’s working with Dad to create that path for our family that endures. Now that he is 84, those opportunities to work together are fewer, but the bonding memories are stronger.
Congratulations again! Please e-mail your address to Christen and we’ll get your prizes out to you!
May you have a very Merry Christmas this year!