mitten snow cones and other snow stories

We flew north after Christmas. The kids full of excitement to see grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, and cousins. And of course, no winter visit to the Pacific Northwest would be complete without snow.

Fluffy. Frosty. Floaty. Delicate. Intricate. Sighing slowly as it drifts to earth.

Each snowflake especially created as one of a kind by the universe. Piling up high until the spring thaw.

I miss the snow. Living in the Bay Area isn’t naturally conducive to a good snow storm. In fact, as far as I can tell, it has significantly snowed only five times over the past 110 years. Specifically, 1882, 1887, 1951, 1962, and 1976. Just enough snowfall for a quick snowball fight or to build a snowman with a “corn cob pipe and a button nose”.

I grew up in the Seattle area and at least once during the winter season, I’d wake up to the world blanketed in white. I’d eagerly listen to the radio, anxious to see if my school was closed for the day; not caring that the day had to be made up in June.  If  good news filtered over the airwaves, I bounded out of the house to meet my friends and play in the snow. Only pausing to come in and eat a quick hot meal before running back to sled 92nd street again and again.

My girls have only seen snow a handful of times. So, this is a big deal in our house.

This visit, would also mark Ava’s first ski lesson, courtesy of my mom, a retired ski instructor.

I’ll start with Mia. Pink puffy snow suit, purple hat, and hot pink gloves. Cheeks flushed with cold. Blue eyes sparkling with the thrill of seeing snow falling from the sky. We had a date, her and I, while Ava skied. We started with snow angels, her little arms and legs moving up and down.  Eagerly turning over to see what she had created.

I plopped her on top of mini hills and she squealed with joy each time she slid down.

Then she discovered eating snow. Her mouth covered in soft swoops of snowy deliciousness. Scooping up it up, popping it in her mouth. Again and again.

Snow cone in a mitten. No sugary syrup flavors required.

Happiness filled the icy air.

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For Ava, it was the first-time adventure of being fitted for ski boots and a pair of tiny skis.  No poles required.  Her boots and skis were bright orange in color; there would be no missing her out on the slopes. Then off she went with my mom for her first ski lesson. She did well and was excited when she actually skied a short way down the hill. Little girl eyes lit up; her smile as big as the mountain. A special moment shared between grandmother and granddaughter.

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After her lesson, Ava met us back by the lodge, and my mom went to join the rest of the family who was already on the mountain skiing. The girls and I made our own fun. Snowball fights. More snow angels. Miniature snowmen crafted by little hands. Breathing in and out, amazement at seeing their breath in the icy air.

Sparkling snowflakes sprinkled down on us as we tried to catch them on our tongues.

Finally, lunch in the lodge with my family and then it was time to leave.

Snow induced sleepiness drifted over the car and the girls settled into deep happy naps.

Dreaming of the next time, we visit the snow.

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