It snowed last night.
The first thing I noticed when I took the dog out this morning was that a big branch on the little live oak out front was bent down almost to the ground under the weight of snow.
Whoa! I said aloud.
The yard looked beautiful.
But I went back inside for breakfast and coffee. Papa was making pancakes. The kids wanted to go outside right after they ate, and I needed to borrow our next door neighbors’ shovel to clear the sidewalk and front walkway. It was still snowing a little, and I asked the kids to be very careful not to disturb the bushes because the birds were all sheltering. We have a lot of birds that live in our yard year round, and some winter visitors. When it’s nice, you can hear them all the way down the block.
Before I got the kids all dressed, though, I took a kettle of hot water out back to pour on a couple of trouble spots on the roof, where ice can build up and then prevent melting water from running off, making it back up under the trim and into the walls. It happened during a storm last year.
After I poured the water, I set the kettle down in the snow and took a look around the back yard. A big limb fell off one of the pecan trees overnight, and the lower limbs of the magnolia were weighed down to the ground. It looked pretty magical underneath. I told Girl when I went back in that there was a snow castle out back for them to play in.
I helped them get all dressed in their warm things and they went out back with Papa and the dog. Papa wanted to build a snow fort while I shoveled.
Everyone stayed out until almost noon, then came in for popcorn and hot chocolate while Papa went out to the store. Papa came home with snacks, supplies, and burritos and tacos from Moe’s for lunch.
Boy really wanted to go back outside after lunch, but I told him he needed to copy his George Washington sentences and practice violin first. Unfortunately, those two things took several hours to do, and Boy had a total meltdown during violin. I also had kind of a meltdown. Papa talked to Boy for a while alone in my room, and then we made up, and came up with a plan to try to have violin go better.
On the up side, this is the third set of biography sentences Boy has needed to copy, and there were no eraser wars this time. It took a long time, but the writing itself was far less emotionally fraught this time around.
But there was still light after all of that, and it had even started snowing again a little, so the kids went back outside. Papa and I stayed inside cleaning up a little, every once in a while yelling through a window to tell the kids to stop doing something or another. Some days Boy and Girl need almost no supervision. Today was not one of those days!
We didn’t have dinner really, just more snacks (carrot sticks, apples slices, hard boiled eggs, tortilla chips and popcorn) and then Boy started reading again. Girl wanted Papa to play guitar to her and sing, but Boy just wanted to finish reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which he started yesterday afternoon; he was reading a lot off and on last night and today). So Papa sang to Girl in my room and then read her a book, and Boy got in bed in his room and finished Charlie in an hour or so, but then still wanted me to read to him.
So I did, from a book of Mexican animal tales, about a brave and patient sea turtle who helped create the world.