Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I Love The Winter Weather
OK, so I don't really love the winter weather. It's the line from a song (on my Squirrel Nut Zippers Christmas Cd, Jeff....not all my music is embarrassing.) But this post is about winter weather. Jeanine's post about the ice storms out in Oklahoma reminded me about Parker's first Christmas.
It was our first Christmas with a kid around. Although he was only five months and way too young to think anything about Christmas, I was over excited about playing Santa for the little squirt. I just wanted everything to be picture perfect. That was far from the case. We had one of those major ice storms on December 23. Our power was out for five days.
The first two days and one night we braved it in the house. We just stayed bundled. We kept holding out in hopes our power would come back on so I could have that picture perfect Christmas I was hoping for. By the time we got home from our Donatos pizza dinner on Christmas Eve, we decided it was time to check into a hotel.
So Spencer and I took turns packing our suitcases (which was a major ordeal considering I was in the middle of laundry when the power went out so all our clothes were either wet or dirty) and searching the house for hidden Christmas presents by flashlight while the other stayed in the warm car with Parker. Spencer of course had not wrapped presents yet, so I had to search for wrapping paper, tape and scissors, too. Then we started driving to hotels. They were all booked due to the power outage. We felt like Mary and Joseph with no room at the Inn. Only I'm pretty sure Bethlehem never gets down to -9 degrees...I also wasn't riding a donkey. We finally found somewhere to spend Christmas on the other side of town, leaving behind our dog to spend Christmas alone in a cold dark house.
We had a fun Christmas morning despite the fact that there was no Christmas tree. Spencer and I decided we would check out of the hotel at checkout time in hopes, once again, that our power would come back on. Lots of homes had power at this point, so why not ours?
Our house was now colder than 20 degrees inside so we couldn't hang out there. We spent the day trying to find a warm place to sit and anywhere with warm water. Parker was bottle fed and only took warm milk. On Christmas, it was hard to find a gas station, a grocery store, anything open. The movie theatres open in the afternoon. So we spent the whole afternoon and evening there. At least there was warm water. And food. We had movie theatre hot dogs for Christmas dinner. YUM! Our power never came back on and we had to check back into the hotel where we could have stayed all day.
I have a very vivid memory of sitting in the dark in my car in front of my driveway a couple days after Christmas when we still had no power. Spencer was inside packing for another night at the hotel. Parker, who had been so patient and good through the whole ordeal, was bawling. He was hungry and had no hot water for a bottle. I finally broke down and started sobbing. And right then, the lights in our house flipped on. I couldn't have been happier.
We had some major warming up (and defrosting) to do. Our house was so cold, our food was all frozen. Our milk was a solid block of ice. But we braved it back in our own house that night. Finally. The power went back out the next morning. But was back on by 8:00pm that night. Thank Heaven!
I remember feeling like it was the worst thing ever, but even now, just three years later, it hardly seems like it could have been that big of deal. And it certainly didn't ruin Parker's Christmas. He still believes in Santa and has no recollection of the whole thing. No harm done. At least it was a Christmas to remember. So many of my Christmas memories just blur together. But this one will forever stand out.
Spencer and I were talking about it this morning. It was seriously one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The whole world seemed to be covered with four inches of ice. It just looked like crystal. It was incredible. Not even I have words to describe the beauty of it. My sympathies go out to all those experiencing power outages right now, but I am envious of their amazing view. (I took the picture at the top four days after the storm so the ice had already melted quite a bit. It does nothing for the beauty of that storm.)
I've been singing that Squirrel Nut Zippers song to myself throughout the post. It is probably my favorite seasonal song. So here are the lyrics just for fun:
I love the winter weather
So the two of us can get together
There's nothing sweeter, finer
When it's nice and cold I can hold
Baby closer to me
Collecting all the kisses that are due me
I love the winter weather
Because I've got my love to keep me warm.