Nikki writes: “Once again, Ms. Terrell takes the reader on a journey through her life. The glimpses and stories of what it is like taking care of the people who raised you are stories that bring hope, a few tears, and a whole lot of love. Through reading Ms. Terrell’s adventures with her 100 year old father, we see the love they have for each other, and the strength this season of life requires.The book offers hope, humor, love, compassion, tenderness and family.”
The husband was worried about me. “It’s cold out there!” he said. “It’s 18 degrees out. Do you need a scarf? Bring your cellphone in case you get in trouble. How about I just drive you to the post office.”
“But,” I told him, “I want to walk to the post office. I need an adventure.” And he knew that was true.
So I bundled myself up – hat, wool sweater, thick socks, snow boots, gloves – put my backpack on and my camera around my neck and set out on my Big Adventure.
What I soon realized was that it wasn’t cold at all. 🙂
And I had a wonderful adventure – I saw eagles, a heron, a hawk, and a red barn in a field of snow. Mike and Lalia from Bow Hill Blueberries made a little snowman (with eyes and smile of blueberries) for the picket fence in front of their store, and the clerk inside ladled me out a sample of hot blueberry cider. On the way back from the post office I stopped off at Samish Bay Cheese Factory and brought home a slice of very fine cheesecake…
Life is good.
I love Snow Days. I love waking up to a world bedazzled in sparkling white. I love the laughter of rosy-cheeked children building snowmen, and the sound of the teapot whistling on the range. I relish the cozy contrast between the warmth of the dancing fire in our woodstove, and the cold of the snow falling softly outside our windows. I love school closures, and cancelled appointments, and the chance to slow down and take a break from the hurry and rush. I love the peace.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the “have tos” of life, isn’t it? – the meetings and expectations, the driving, shopping, and human busy-ness. Snow days shut the busy-ness down and give us time to reflect, and take stock in what we already have.
Today I looked around at what I already had, and, feeling like a pioneer woman living off the land, pulled from my freezer a bag of blackberries I’d picked last summer, got out the flour and butter, and created a mighty fine blackberry pie. I give credit to the snow for this. If I hadn’t had to cancel two appointments, I wouldn’t have had time to make that pie.
Some people may think they see “the hand of God” in earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, but I don’t believe my God, Love, has anything to do with that stuff. Nope. Give me a Snow Day, wrapped all up in sparkling white, and filled with peace, and I’ll show you an expression of my God.
(originally published in January, 2012)
Here’s a clip of yesterday’s snow day as seen from our back deck.
And some photos from this week’s snow…
“And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
– I Kings 19: 11-12
Dad is sitting at the kitchen table eating his breakfast when I stop by. He looks up and sees me and his face lights up with a smile…
Karen: Hi, Daddy!
Dad: What day is this?
Karen: It’s Friday. (I go into Dad’s room to fetch the calendar I gave him for Christmas. I point to the day on the calendar.) It’s Friday, February eighth. (I point to the year.) 2019. You’re going to turn 101 this year!
Dad: (Nodding and thinking about this. He points to the calendar’s picture.) Did you take that picture?
Karen: Yes. Trumpeter swans.
Dad: Did you take all these pictures?
Karen: Yup. (Explaining why I’m here on a Friday.) We got out of school early today because of the snow. (Dad looks out the window to see what’s going on out there.) It’s supposed to snow six to eight inches.
Dad: (Smiling.) It used to snow six to eight FEET at Rainier.
Karen: I know! (Grinning.) People prepare for a blizzard here when six to eight inches are predicted. Did you ever get snow in Los Angeles?
Dad: (Smiling.) Once. They closed school for a week.
Karen: Well, I should probably get to the store. I just wanted to stop in and see you.
Dad: I’ll come over tonight…
Karen: No, it’s okay. Let’s all stay safe in our own homes tonight.
Dad: Oh. Okay.
Karen: I love you, Daddy. (I kiss the top of his head. He smiles and waves at me as I leave.)
I wake at four in the morning
and tread downstairs to the living room
to see what the cats are up to, and to
maybe read or write a poem or talk
to Mom. I have a feeling of anticipation.
It feels like Christmas morning
is what I’m thinking and just then
I look out the front window and see
the neighbor has turned his Christmas
lights on and they’re shining on the snow
around his house – how beautiful!
There’s a lightening and lifting in the air.
The cats are playing – rolling around each
other in a ball of calico and black fur. Half-
feral cat jumps up on the couch to have his
his head scratched – and there’s magic
in his coming to me. He’s a wary one –
I’ve been given an honor.
It is 4:30 in the morning and I have ruffled
a cat’s fur and written a poem and hugged
Moz in my thoughts. And she has hugged
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
I am a terrible mother
a terrible friend
a terrible daughter
I am everything you think
I am and nothing you think
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
Breathe, Karen. Go to your happy place.
You’re in a meadow at the end of the Skyline Divide trail. Mount Baker is right in front of you. Shuksan is to the left. Scott and the sons are with you. Dad is painting a picture just a few yards away from you. Moz sits on a log. A bird has just landed on her finger and she’s smiling at it. There are alpine butterflies – lots of those little blue ones, and the orange ones, too – flitting around in the lupine and Indian paintbrush. It’s warm, but not too warm. There’s a nice little breeze up there. You are surrounded by Love. You’re at peace with yourself and the world. All is well.
Hey! That really works!