Tuesday, December 22, 2009

White Christmas On The Mountain

J.D. did a movie clip of part of our snow covered property the other day when the snow was still fresh and brilliant white.I tried to post it here, but it is too large to upload. I have posted some pictures of our snow instead. We had fun watching Buddy as he bounded through the snow like a jack rabbit with a half run, half jump and sinking up to his belly with every hop. Now that it has been there a few days and has a crust on the top of it, he walks on the top of the snow occasionally falling through the crusted top. It is more work for him now and not so much fun.

We ventured off of the mountain today for my doctor's appointment. While we still have lots of snow on our ridge, the area below is quickly becoming snow free. With it only three days until Christmas I am pretty sure that there will still be snow on J.D.'s mountain come Friday morning unless it warms up enough to rain.

This time of year always sparks memories from long ago in a little town called Washington Court House, Ohio. I remember when we had a really good snow my mother would take a large bowl out into the yard and fill it with snow. She would then bring it into the house and with a little sugar, some milk, and a dash of vanilla she would work magic and make snow cream. She spooned it out into cereal bowls for my brother Joey and me. To a little girl of 7 or 8 years old that snow cream was better than any ice cream cone from the Dairy Queen in the heat of summer.

From snow cream my memories continue on to playing in the snow. My mother always bundled us up nice and warm before sending us out to get our daily dose of sunshine and fresh air. I remember my mother saving bread bags in a kitchen drawer. To insure that we didn't get wet and cold from the snow she put those same bread bags over our mittens and over our socks before we put on our boots. When we were fully bagged, it was then time to go outside and build our snowmen. We happily broke branches out of the trees for the arms, all the while wishing we could build an army of snowmen so there wouldn't be any branches left to be used for switches on two children that lived in our house that sometimes misbehaved. Well, Joey misbehaved a lot more than I did. Joey and his friends would build snow forts and have wars throwing snow balls back and forth at each other. We didn't just go out and play for a few moments, we played until Mom forced us to come in. She always treated us to steaming cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows melting on top when we came in out of the cold.

Things have certainly changed over the years. Mothers no longer make snow cream, mainly because our skies are so polluted the snow really isn't clean when it falls to the ground. Not a lot of children are motivated enough these days to leave their televisions, video games, computers and the comfort of the sofa to go outside and play in the snow. I find that all a little sad and I wonder what will the snow memories be for these children when they grow old?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ring Around The Moon

Last night JD mentioned how pretty the moon was. It was a perfectly round shape and a brilliant silvery white. What was really fascinating about it was the ring around it. The sky on the outside of the ring was foggy and misty looking, yet the sky within the circle was perfectly clear. It was almost like the moon had been framed and hung up there for our enjoyment. We took a couple of pictures of it. I believe that if you click on the picture it should enlarge big enough for you to see what I am talking about. As it some times goes though, the picture doesn't do it justice. We have had such an unusually warm fall that I was starting to wonder if we are going to have a winter this year. wiki.answers.com has the following to say about what we saw which answers my questions about where winter has gone:

"Moon Ring Weather Folklore:

Folklore has it that a ring around the moon signifies bad weather is coming, and in many cases this may be true. So how can rings around the moon be a predictor of weather to come? The ice crystals that cover the halo signify high altitude, thin cirrus clouds that normally precede a warm front by one or two days. Typically, a warm front will be associated with a low pressure system which is commonly referred to as a storm. It is believed that the number of stars within a moon halo indicate the number days before bad weather will arrive. Give it a try the next time you observe a moon halo."

I received a surprise in the mail yesterday from my brother. He had a VCR tape of a family Christmas in '92 and burned it to a DVD. As I watched my mother in the DVD and heard her voice again it felt like she was giving me a warm hug. Even though it has been 8 years since she lost her battle with cancer, I still miss her so much during the holidays. I will never be able to express how appreciative I am to my brother for the DVD that he sent to me. I was blessed to have had her for my mother. To my way of thinking, my life would have been well lived if just one person feels that my presence in their life was a blessing and that I had made a difference for just one person.

May your week ahead be filled with blessings and love.