This is my healing journal.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mom's snow

Does anyone else remember the old-fashioned Christmas snows? Well, we got it this weekend. My husband is out blowing the snow off the walk, in case we have church this morning. He has lit the pine scented candles, so that it smells like Christmas. I’m sitting her drinking a cup of coffee and just enjoying being up. I have on sweater and slacks, because I have no desire to wear a skirt or dress in this stuff, because it would mean wearing any shoes but my tennis shoes!

Tom, I could not help thinking of you and wishing you could see the wonder of God’s creation made soft by lots of white fluffy snow. (Yes, I did read your blog archives, and I remember you writing something about how the sight of snow reminds you of your souls being cleansed.) I was thinking about that particular statement of Tom’s from his blog, as I went out and checked on the snow last night, a couple of times. How beautiful! How true!

I hear that down where you are, there’s rain falling. Though not the same experience, I’m praying that brings revival to the South’s dry land.

I cannot help but think of Mom and falling snow at my father’s house he built in Okemos at 4086 Dobie Road. The house for those who have been in Okemos is situated between the bridge and the railroad tracks, which made going to the middle school easy for my family. Dad put a lot of thought into that house. It was huge. But, the thing was, in winter, it was the most home feeling of any of the houses any of our friends lived in and they knew it! I’ll never forget snow days at my house. Mom made sure there was plenty of milk for cocoa. The pot of coffee was always on for mothers who came to pick up their kids. If we had colds, she would take things like lemonade and tang mix and make hot drinks for colds, even if you weren’t her kids. And vats of soup! Not an easy task for Mom, since she had six kids of her own. But, in the winter, there was always soup!

In the living room, Dad had built a fireplace. Often, I remember him sitting by the fire, smoking his pipe full of barking dog tobacco, ready and willing to tell us a story.

Downstairs was our huge playroom. (I don’t knee if Tom will remember the Christmas of 73, when the day students got an extra day or two of vacation from MSB. I’ll never forget it!) My sister Chrissie and her daughter Jennifer came over to the house, and Dad made us all curl up on the huge couch in our playroom, so he could tell us a story.

I remember Christmas of my sixth grade year, or close to it. The snow had fallen thick and heavy. We could get Channel 6 on our radios. (Still can in Lansing or Jackson). That was a treat for me, because that night, I stayed up to listen to the Walton’s Home coming Christmas special. Then, I called in sick the next day. Mom didn’t even bat an eye.

I remember being stranded at MSB in the blizzard of 78, and hating it. I didn’t mind being with my friends. It’s just it didn’t feel the same, because I was always home when the snow fell. There was supposed to be a wrestling meet that day when classes were canceled and we were shut up in our dorms. I remember being relieved, because we had all dressed in our cheer leading uniforms, anticipating the meet. (Sorry, Tom. I for one was not willing to sacrifice my legs just so you guys could wrestle.) I remember eating popcorn with my dorm mates and feeling a bit sad, though I wrote a story while there. But, it wasn’t the same. I wanted to e home. I wanted to feel safe with my family around me. Though Mom and Dad were divorced, Dad had gone to the house to hang out.

On Saturday, Dad came and got me. I think they all wanted me home as much as I wanted to be there. The cool thing was, I was supposed to start at Okemos that next week. However, with the snow days, exams had gotten canceled. But, classes got canceled on Monday and Tuesday as well there. So, my delay was a whole week longer or was it two? I can’t remember. I think it was two though, because the weekend in question, I remember going to the Diary of Anne Frank with my youth group and that next weekend, I was participating in a ski race.

Now, that race, I’ll never forget. We had another snow like this one, making road conditions treacherous at best. Also, course conditions. I was going down the hill for the practice run, and the hill was a snow covered ice pack. I fell, twisting my right knee. Everyone watched me the rest of the day and convinced me to just take aspirin the next morning and try again.

I fell again on the second run of the race, hurting my knee even more. I started my days at Okemos, hobbling around with a knee that didn’t want to work properly.

I digress here. Well, not really all that much, because during all those times Mom was there, cocoa pan and coffee pot always at the ready.

Christmas snows were even more special. The smell of Christmas trees, fudge, cocoa, coffee, sausage frying, Dad’s pipe, Mom’s turkey soup, the turkey at Christmas dinner, the sound of cracking nuts and fire in the fireplace, Christmas carols, the feel of home.

Mom, you probably wanted all of us to remember your Christmas snows. That’s why you blest us by making sure we remembered those times, rather than grieved over your leaving us at this time. Thank you for that!

We did have church. Road conditions are not the best right now. But, it was still fun to go walking out in the snow to our car, hearing it crunch and feeling more snow falling and still more in that air. I have no idea how much we’ll get. Bert is using the snow thrower right now, trying to get the latest batch of snow out of the way.

It was hard playing Christmas carols and thinking of Mom, and how much she would have enjoyed this special time of year! Keep snowing, to remind us Mom is home this Christmas, home where she always wanted to be!


  • At December 17, 2007 at 5:30 PM , Blogger Tom C said...

    it ate my big long post. Ohh well, another time.

  • At December 18, 2007 at 4:07 PM , Blogger Healing Song said...

    My dear Tom,

    The reason it ate your blog entry is you and were supposed to talk, which was better in more ways than you could possibly imagine.

    Love to you and yours.

  • At December 18, 2007 at 4:10 PM , Blogger Healing Song said...

    I am posting the following comment from my friend Peggy H. Peggy, Thanks for the prayers here as they did feel like a warm coat envellopping me.

    Dearest Bea,

    I am with you in thought and prayer. I'm sure by now you are probably at the church. I ask God to let you feel a body-enveloping cloak of His Love around
    you, comforting you and giving you peace and calmness as you do your part in the service.

    Thank you for your "Mom's snow" memories. May our Lord comfort you with these and other pleasant memories during these difficult times.

    Love & Prayers,
    Peggy H

  • At December 18, 2007 at 8:01 PM , Blogger Joan said...

    Hello Bea:
    We are with you in thought and prayer. Not only are you a wonderful person but a wonderful writer. You can "see" or feel more without eyes than most people can with eyes.
    Best to you and Bert

  • At December 20, 2007 at 6:40 PM , Blogger Healing Song said...

    Thanks so much, Joan. Writing is just a natural for me, I think.

  • At December 24, 2007 at 10:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This was a beautiful entry! Thanks for sharing it with us. I have a lot of winter memories myself, but most of mine are about my grandparents, who were my real parents more than my biological ones were. This was beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are still with you.

  • At December 24, 2007 at 8:30 PM , Blogger Healing Song said...

    Thanks, Julie. I felt them today, as we sang all of Mom's favorite carols at the service tonight.


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