Snow Day

December 26, 2021, brought significant snowfall to the Pacific Northwest. And I’m not a snow girl, typically. I enjoy the mild weather that brings the wet stuff instead of the white stuff. It’s kind of ironic that I was born in Buffalo, New York, in the middle of winter.

My parents grew up in small-town Pennsylvania, and they were used to snow in the winter. They raised my brothers and me there, too, until I was ten years old. We wore the snowsuits like you’d see in the movie, The Christmas Story. They were one-piece outfits we’d step into with our regular play clothes on underneath. We’d bag our stocking feet in Sunbeam Bread bags that we’d secure with a rubber band before sliding them into our boots. The legs of the snowsuit would cover our boots, and we’d be dripping sweat just from getting dressed to go outside to sled.

Now I live in Seattle, where the weather is mild, and it used to be pretty rare to get abundant snow in the lowlands. But the past few years, we’ve gotten our fair share. The day after Christmas, almost two weeks ago, we woke up to a little more than four inches in my yard. Luckily, by now, we have two good snow shovels, and my husband bought salt to melt the ice on our long, sloping driveway.

It’s a family affair to keep the driveway clean. And now that we have the nice snow shovels, I honestly enjoy getting out there for a little wintry cardio.

The snow here is different from other places I’ve lived – including Fargo, North Dakota. What makes it different here is likely a combination of HILLS EVERYWHERE and the snow’s texture. It shuts us down. Schools close, gyms close, and roads close. Do you know what never closes? The emergency veterinary hospital where my daughter works. So, no matter what, we go outside to shovel when it snows.

Five years ago, we had abundant snow, too. My girls were typical teenagers at the time, and they slept late. But when I got up and looked out the window that morning, I saw a lot of snow. I knew immediately what we had to do that day. We were going to recreate an old black and white photo that sits on my desk. It’s a picture of my Mom as a teenager standing next to her Mom in swimsuits in the snow. I love that photo. It reminds me of the strong, sassy stock the ladies in my family come from.

My Mom Frannie and my Grammie Hilda Smith (my Aunt Julie as a child by the tree)

When my daughters were 18 and 15, respectively, we walked cautiously out into the snow wearing flats and bathrobes over our swimsuits. Oh, the snow was so cold on our feet, and it, of course, made its way into our shoes. My husband followed us out with his digital Canon camera and helped us pose without making too many marks on the snow.

We all squealed as we stood there trying to be good snow girls, flipping our hair and pursing our lips. Super hard to do when you’re shivering. My husband clicked the shutter and captured several pictures. We donned our robes again and trudged into the house to take a look.

Newcastle Snow Gals – Kelly, Macy, and Jessica

It was one of those spontaneous moments I’m glad we captured. Silly, sassy, and memorable for sure. Just looking at these pictures helps me remember that we are all in charge of our attitude each day. A snow day can bring frustration and grumpy moods due to canceled plans and being stuck at home. Or it can spur us on to creativity – making us snow gals – and celebrating the white stuff that will be gone too soon.

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