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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thoughts of Snow

Everyone,

Today it seemed that I just couldn't get warm. I took a nice hot shower so long that the hot water ran out. Then I was back to shivering and cold because when the hot water is gone. It's GONE. No warning. Hot to cold in a flash.

(Side note. While I was in the shower I got a message from my friend Lolli. It was a very short message and I thought it was because my message machine was full. I had 12 messages on it...I figured I better do something about that. But when I called Lolli back, she said that she had a great conversation with one of my boys. Possibly both. Apparently they are big enough to get the phone, hit talk, and then, actually talk. I'm just glad it was Lolli and not 9-1-1.)

I finally warmed up after a few glasses of hot chocolate and going out in the sun to stand for awhile. While I was standing there, I got to thinking how I used to not mind the cold so much.

Did you know that I used to camp in the winter all the time? Did you know that I've actually spent a few nights in a tent when it was snowing?

The summer I was 18 turning 19, I worked at a Girl Scout camp as one of their horseback riding instructors. That was 10 weeks I lived in a tent. I didn't love every minute of it. The squirrels were bad and used to eat our stuff. The work was hard, the ticks were bad that year, but I loved it. I loved riding every day. I loved being outside all the time. I wish I could have done it the next year too but I got married instead.

Once the summer program was done and the horses were sent to their pasture for the winter, I stayed on as a regular camp councilor. This meant I spent weekends up at the camp helping various troops do various badges. I did a little of everything that year. I cooked, I counseled, I signed books, I sang songs, I made fires. One thing that I did all the time (probably because no one else wanted to) was do the winter camps. I loved these things. We stayed in the lodge one night, cross country skied and sledded down the stable hill the next day, set up a big tent and tried to sleep in it the next night. There was only one weekend that we didn't make it. The wind was so bad that the tent kept blowing down. We went back to the lodge and slept by the fire place in all of our clothes trying to get warm. I think it snowed over a foot that night and we had to be dug out by the maintenance guy and then make it down the canyon in one piece.

I think I've got the time line wrong but I did go winter camping with a bunch of my camp friends while I was in Idaho. There were 8 of us just going out for the weekend to camp and get away from school. We had 3 tents between us and had a great time diving to the Tetons. We stopped in some little tiny campsite next to a small river. It was not snowing when we got there. It started sometime in the night while we were hanging around the campfire. We went into our tents to get out of the wet. I was in a tent with my friend Hobbs (her camp name, I can't remember her real name) and we were laughing so hard we were crying. Then we were laughing about the fact that our tears were freezing. One of the other tents fell down so we invited the girls to come in to our tent. About 2am I heard the 4 girls in the other tent talking about how cold it was and they decided to come and join us too. This was a 4 man tent, at best. In the morning, we had all 8 of us in the tent and it was pretty warm. Until we opened the door to the tent and realized that we had been iced on. The wall to the tent had frozen solid and fell to the ground like a draw bridge. One of the girls had a thermometer that read -15 degrees. We all did jumping jacks and danced around in the morning to get warm, and the decided to ditch the rest of the camping weekend and go home. That was an adventure!

The last time I've been camping in the snow was here. We were waiting in line for Easter Egg Roll tickets and it snowed on us. In April. By the White House. It was crazy.

Apparently I had a little more tolerance for the snow a few years ago. Still, I love the stuff and wish we lived in a place where is snowed more. We did have some freezing rain last night that turned to slush around midnight and melted all the snow we got last weekend. Maybe we'll get another batch before Christmas?

Safire

4 comments:

  1. It really was a fun conversation, I must say. ;)

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  2. How funny about the boys! Evie has dialed people but still doesn't quite get the idea of talking into the phone. Plus she doesn't have a huge vocabulary to say much of anything :) We have snow here, and I have to say that I like it a lot better when I'm a SAHM and don't have to drive in it unless I want to!

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  3. I am getting warm and cold flashes reading your post....and suddenly craving some creamy hot chocolate! I love the snow too, not driving it, but playing and looking out the window and seeing that gorgeous white blanket. Also, I do not like the sickness that cold snow brings - blech!

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  4. Kids just love the phone for some reason. Too cute.

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I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. --Helen Keller