It Snowed in the Lowlands

February 4, 2019 0 Comments


Watching our rare snowstorm, 2019

Snowfall is rare in the Puget Sound area. We are close enough to the Salish Sea that the salt water tempers the air. But sometimes, a strong cold front comes flying down the Frazier River Valley from up in Canada and into the lowlands between our two mountain ranges and gives us a rare treat.

This is both a delight and a source of consternation for me. Because we live so close to ski areas and mountain play areas, many people in NW Washington have snow gear ready to go every winter. Our family does not do snow sports for a variety of reasons. The main reason is the expense for 7-9 kids at a time, which is fine. We keep busy enough with other great fun. But that leaves us snow-gearless most of the time.

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It’s so funny, because I DO have a range of snow pants and boots and hats and gloves, but I don’t gear up every fall thinking we will have snow. We rarely have snow, right? And on the rare occasion over the years that I think to get things on hand “just in case we get snow,” we never get snow. So I have the random gear on hand from previous years, but it’s hit or miss whether anything will fit anyone who is here when it snows. That’s the reality of both foster care AND growing children. What will fit whom when?

So……… the kids pile on bundles of clothing… three pairs of pants, a fleece jacket, then a sweater or sweatshirt, then a rain coat. We have rain boots for everyone (Duh! We live in Pacific Northwest), so they put on as many pairs of socks as will fit into their boots. I have been known, on occasion, to put plastic bread bags over little shoes and secure them above the calf with rubber bands.

Then, let the fun begin!!!!!!

The Snow Dance!

The snow started falling yesterday and my older kids rushed outside to do a snow dance. They were whooping and hollering — no attempts at our piecemeal snow gear yet, since it had not really begun to collect in earnest. The overnight hours gave us about 3 inches of snow — enough to close school for the day (the entire city is not geared to handle much snow) and send the kids outside for most of the day today.

He said, “I’m thirsty.” I asked him how many snowflakes it will take to quench his thirst. “About 20 should do it,” he said.

The kids played follow-the-leader to make the first paths through fresh snow. Then came the snowballs, building forts, hide and seek (usually with snowballs in hand), eating the snow, trying to catch it on their tongues, and the requisite snow angels. The Littles took half-clothed dolls out to let them ‘walk in the snow.’ The kids shook tree branches to catch a sibling unawares with snow showers. And mostly, they laughed all day long.

Oh, how I love that laughter!

She needs some warming up!

They’d come in after an hour or so with red cheeks and runny noses and sopping wet clothing. The Littles, especially, would be crying with the cold and the wet. So I’d peel off layers of coats and pants and socks and snuggle the girls up in blankets. After everyone had taken off anything damp (or soaking wet as the case may be), I’d pile what I could into the dryer (the wet clothes, not the kids) and turn up the furnace thermostat a bit so everyone could find a heating vent blowing warm air. After the clothing was “dry enough,” back outside they would go.

It’s the stuff of childhood memories. And I don’t even mind that we don’t have all the nice, fancy gear. The make-do, mish-mash of clothing will also be the source of fun childhood stories that the kids will tell their own kids.

We are blessed! Today, by snow.


February 18, 2019


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