It finally happened. After moving that red beast from corner to corner all year, standing it up in every foreseeable location in the garage and storage room, our plastic red sled was affectionately sought after this afternoon. The first snow of winter arrived today. The weather predictions from the storm chasing gurus weren’t just a lot of hot air this time, but a blustery blast of cold air carrying a load of frozen excitement.
Who but God really knew what would happen with the weather today? As we finished our lunch and settled into the afternoon huddled around a warm fire, we hadn’t seen a sign of the wintry mix they had forecasted, so we naturally perceived that they were wrong again. Katrina was the first one to notice out the window in the latter part of the afternoon that flakes were drifting downward. She excitedly ran in to tell the kids, and it wasn’t long before they were piling on coats and pulling on boots to run out and catch a few snowflakes. Before long they were not disappointed as the dense snowfall quickly covered the ground.
Now that the kids were out and about in the new winter playground I couldn’t help but to step out for a moment myself. Taking in the spectacular white blanket that God had blessed us with, I began to notice a gathering of little birds under Katrina’s bird feeder out front. They seemed to be gathering around the birdseed on the ground as if it had not been there prior to the snow’s arrival. It reminded me of those “snow birds” that flock to the stores the moment the weatherman even hints that there could be winter precipitation. Whether it’s snowing or not the parking lots will fill up with folks afraid that their stockpile of food at home will not keep them alive until the storm passes in a few hours or so. I suppose our half-a-loaf of bread in the cabinet will have to do us until I can ski down the hill in my car tomorrow.
It seems rare here in Arkansas to have back to back storms, but if the weatherman wants to go 2 for 2, we may see another wave of snow tomorrow. Generally, no matter how deep it snows here in the river valley, it’s usually gone the next day due to the warm ground temperature and the minimal dip below the freezing mark. Perhaps it will not be the case this time.
In addition to the snow birds losing their sanity in the excitement, the kids seemed to have lost touch with reality as they scrape morsels of snow from whatever horizontal surface they can find. Just hours ago you wouldn’t have seen them licking the dirt off of the front porch rails, but sprinkle a little bit of frozen excitement out there on the trampoline and they are lapping it up like a dog in a mudhole. Go figure.
Now that I am comfortably back inside with the fire, the birds have returned to scavenging from Katrina’s seeds of benevolence. As the red sled continues to make trips down the hill carrying it’s passengers across the inch of excitement on the ground, I will sit here leisurely in my chair, sipping my hot coffee as the flakes slowly drift downward to our forest floor outside.
Written by David Steen, with God smiling, January 9, 2011