Snow Days

Today I am looking out my window and watching the snow steadily fall with a quiet whisper. As it accumulates and covers everything with a blanket of white, in my mind I am revisiting my childhood. Days like today have a sweet poignancy for me. They remind me of days that are past, but memories that are priceless.

I can envision the snow drifts piled along the fences and covering some of the roads. There was no snowplow with its big scoop to shovel the snow on our quarter mile lane. If it was a weekday, we put on our snow boots and walked to the main road and waited until the school bus came. But when we had snow on a weekend–then the fun began. We lived in the country and watching tv on snowy days was not an option.

After chores were completed, we would drag out the sled and pull it to the highest hill in our pasture. We would sled until our feet were numb and our faces were frozen and then trek home to gather in front of the pot-bellied stove and thaw, our feet tingling as the feeling came back. Oh yes, even in the 60s, we had no central heat and no running water. I would often envy my friends who had both.

As it would grow dark, we would listen to wind whistling through windows covered with ice, as we gathered in the one room that was warm enough for all of us. My dad would get out the games and we would play Monopoly, Parcheesi, or WahHoo (our name for Aggravation) on the board my cousin’s husband made for us.  As we started playing, my mom would be in the kitchen making home-made doughnuts and hot chocolate (nothing like the packets we use today!). As we would moan if we were put in jail, or accuse a sibling of cheating, we were building precious memories. We would laugh or pout, depending on whether we were winning or losing. Those times were also building a life-long love of games for me.

As we played, my mom would be in the kitchen making doughnuts and hot chocolate. It never occurred to any of us to help her; we were having too much fun playing games. She would bring the platter of doughnuts into the living room, and we would take a break long enough to retrieve our cups of hot chocolate and enjoy the melt-in-your mouth goodness of her doughnuts. We would spend the next two or three hours together, not realizing how many memories we were making.

Doughnuts made by my niece Stephanie. The tradition continues.

I wish I could say I was as diligent in making memories with my children on snow days. Instead, they would go sledding on McKelvey Hill with all their friends or watch a movie on television. If I could go back, I would do it differently. Unfortunately, there are no do-overs.

So, what about you? I encourage you to take the time to make some precious memories with your loved ones on days like today. Make a snow angel, bake cookies together, play a game, build a snowman, and yes, maybe even watch a favorite movie. Build memories that will last a lifetime so that someday you will look back with fondness, and maybe even a little nostalgia, to the memories you have created. Oh, and if you want–make doughnuts. Here is my mom’s recipe.

Mom’s Doughnut recipe – from memory written in her handwriting

Worth Something

Recently I ran across a quote that said, “Every kid needs adults who love them in a way that convinces them they are worth something.” I have to admit there was something about that statement that resonated profoundly within me. As I thought about it over the next few days, I had to dig deep to see why it struck such a cord with me.

photo by Gean Montoya on Unsplash

Without going into a ton of detail and lots of history, I realized that one of the reasons it resonated so strongly with me is because I struggled with my own worth as I grew up. Having a mom who was a perfectionist taught me all kinds of things about doing stuff right, but it also placed a lot of unrealistic expectations on me as a child. I always felt no matter what I did, it was never enough. That really did influence my feeling (or lack) of self-worth. To this day, I still struggle with believing I am worth something.

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Be a Difference Maker

We have them all around us–the lonely, the mentally ill, the disenfranchised, the bullied and the bullies. Sometimes they are almost invisible. Teachers see them every day at their schools, but there is not enough time nor enough resources to reach each one individually.

We see the patterns of individuals who isolate themselves from others, who have obsessions with violent video games, who have not been taught positive ways to deal with anger, grief, pain, and loneliness. And yet, we still do not recognize the signs until it is too late to save them and others from their own poor judgments. Continue reading

Begging Isn’t Enough – Do Something

Ever since Target enlightened the public on their stance on the use of restrooms by transgender individuals, Christians have been in an uproar. While I understand their concerns, I am also concerned about their handling of the issue.  Quite frankly, transgenders have been using the restrooms they identify with for years. And before you start lambasting me and assuming I absolutely approve of this, please remember that kindness and mercy is far better in our dealing with non-Christians than hate and destructive rhetoric. Continue reading

The Ants Go Marching

As an older woman whose children have all reached adulthood and live on their own, I am often reminded of how difficult it is being a Mom. As I read some of my younger friend’s Facebook posts, I wish I could make their journey easier, but in all honesty, even the best of parents experience their times of frustration and agony. I was far from a perfect Mom and there were days when I just wanted to throw in the towel or lock myself in the bathroom and throw a temper tantrum, kicking and screaming like a toddler (oh wait, I really did that!). Continue reading