Snow Play

Snow Play

Bella in the snow

According to yesterday’s paper since the first snowfall of the season on Dec 21 Boston as had about 62 inches of snow all told. Comparing their total snow falls for each of the storms that has passed through with the snow we collected in the same storms, I estimate we’ve received maybe another 10 inches on top of that. That’s about 6 feet of snow so far this year.

Bella is waist deep in the snow and there’s probably another two feet of snow under her boots.

Since the big storm that blew in the day after Christmas we have had a few thaw days when it got above freezing; but nothing that lasted long enough for the snow to melt all the way down to expose the grass. Each new storm dumps another layer on top of the one before. The result is that right now the snow in our yard is an average of three to four feet deep.

With the minivan for comparison, this shot gives you a better feel for how deep it is at the end of the driveway.

The kids have been pretty housebound because Sophie and Ben are too short to really navigate through the drifts. Bella has gone out into the yard to tramp around a few more times that the others two; but it’s not all that fun to play out there by herself. And me, I’m eight months pregnant and limited in my ability to take them out for supervised play in the yard. At my current weight and lung capacity, I can’t navigate the big drifts very well myself. I’m not really agile enough nor do I have stamina to tramp paths for them to walk on.

Bella in the driveway.

Thursday evening and Saturday morning the weather was nice and conditions were propitious we made excursions to play in the front yard. Thursday my sister was going out to help clear the end of the driveway where the plow had piled more snow before the sun set and the crew, beginning with (Ben who thinks she is the sun and the moon and stars) and all decided to follow her out.

Ben watches Auntie Tree shovel snow.

So I bundled everyone up into snowsuits and boots and hats and mittens and sent them out. Ben can wander up and down in the driveway and look at the passing cars. He thinks it’s marvelous. Bella can go tromp through the big drifts of snow and Sophie can do a bit of both.

Sophie in the driveway

I thought about putting my feet up to enjoy the quiet but then decided I could use a little outing too so I put on my boots and coat and grabbed my camera to take some snapshots of the children at play.

We had a fun time. Bella tramped down a snow slide for herself and Sophie to slide on. Ben watched his beloved Auntie Treese shovel snow and spotted some excellent vehicles passing.

Smiling Bella climbs the mountain of snow.

It was all fun, that is, until Sophie ventured too far off the beaten tracks and sank knee deep into the snow and lost her boot. She was in the middle of the yard where I couldn’t easily reach her as I was sinking down past my knee into the snow and afraid that the next step might be thing deep and I might get stuck myself. My sister went to her rescue but even she took several minutes to wade out as far as Sophie was.

After that Sophie’s sock was soaked, the sun was almost gone. I decreed it was tie for everyone to go in and Bella threw a fit. I let her try to play in the backyard and that worked as a diversion for a bit until she decided she’d had enough.

On Saturday morning the precipitating event was Dom taking the trash out. The front door was open as he went back and forth with several loads and little heads began to peek out. Bella decided she was going to go for it and began to scramble into her snow pants. Soon Sophie was following suit and then Ben grabbed his boots and jacket. Of course he protested mightily against actually being strapped into his boots but once he was outside he forgot his grievance and enjoyed the bright sunny morning and the freedom to wander at will. (He also took a few spills and hit his head on the car at least twice; but that’s par for the course for him.)

The snow had settled and compacted a bit since Friday and Bella and Sophie were better able to tramp along in the yard. Bella had fun laying down on the snowbank overlooking the road and peering down into the street below. What a perspective!

The girls pretended to have a snowball fight.

Sophie had found her snow legs and had such fun tramping about.

Then Dom helped them slide down the snowbank into the street. Oh what fun!

If I’d had more stamina, I’d have loved to make a snowman; but I know from experience with previous years and previous pregnancies that I lack the flexibility and would shortly be out of breath and most likely experiencing some Braxton Hicks contractions to boot. Sorry, girls, no snowmen this winter. Not if it depends on Mama’s help.

We’re due for more snow (!!!) later this week.

My poor mother, who is coming up at the end of February to help out when Anthony arrives, is looking at all these pictures and wondering exactly how much she loves me and her grandchildren. I tell you she is an absolute hero to leave Austin (where my computer tells me that today it is 78 degrees!) to come up here to the land of ice and snow and single digit lows.

Bella, airborne



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  • My girls tend to get up very early. (Cecilia came in this morning at 6:13.) So, having a nice quiet time to pray is just a rare treat for me. Sometimes while the girls are munching through breakfast, I can focus and meditate on the DO Morning Prayer, but it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes I say a psalm, butter and cut a bagel, say another psalm, empty the dishwasher, etc. Sometimes a phrase or a prayer resonates with me and I carry it into the day or even into the moment. But other times, I just say it and go on to the next thing I need to do that day. The funny thing is that, if I don’t say my prayers, I notice it, even if they would have just been “getting through it.” I think, even if you are just “getting through” they still serve to remind you of God, connect you to God, even if it isn’t a deep rich conversation, it is a conversation nonetheless. Just like it is wonderful if you can sit through Mass focused and reaping fruit from every word and prayer and song, you still receive grace and blessings and necessary reminders even when you spend Mass juggling cranky children. I think the DO is the same way. The fact we as humans fluctuate in our prayers, our receptivity to prayer, etc. is, I think, really a part of our humanity as well as God’s plan for us. God has never given anyone sweet bouquet from every prayer. Some days I think we just have to accept that they are there even if we don’t see or feel or pick up on them and that becomes our small gift to Him.

  • Excellent post, Melanie.  I just started two years ago and while I love it, I’m clumsy and disorganized.  I’m also rather OK with that.  The children expect it as a part of their day and I’m happy we’ve made it that far.  I hope to improve with time!

  • I pray Morning Prayer with a small group at church every day. It’s interesting (and perhaps helpful to me) because I can’t stop and try to absorb things better, and so I have to ignore my perfectionist tendencies. I think with the psalms, at least, the repetition over time is part of the point. Also, praying them aloud is very helpful for my poor focus (might be helpful at home too!).

    Patience with oneself is important, it is often the evil one who wants to discourage us in our prayer life. Also, something you said reminded me of a lovely quote from the Screwtape Letters. Ugh. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find it online – I’ll try to type it in for you soon.