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Barely Enough Snow


Finally, Mother Nature cooperated.  Snow!  Deep enough for my young Grands to slide down the short sledding hill in our backyard.  Early Sunday morning, my daughter sent a text.  “We’re coming to sled.”  Hallelujah!

I watched through the window from inside my warm house.  The two older Grands rode round plastic sleds, and because the snow barely covered the grass in places, sometimes they pushed each other almost all the way down the hill.  The younger Grands, ages 1 and 3, tromped and made snow angels and threw handfuls of the white stuff in the air.  Then they squealed when the cold wet snow fell on their upturned faces.

It was time to make hot chocolate.  You have to have cookies and hot chocolate after playing in snow, and I began getting ready for this day months ago.  In early December I unpacked snowman dishes out of storage boxes, and I bought marshmallows, colored ones shaped like cars, for hot chocolate.  I made cookies – the kind you slice and bake and serve warm, straight from the oven.

            But the cookies were eaten during the Christmas holidays, and when I found the marshmallow bag in the back corner of the cabinet, it was less than half full.  I scrounged through the freezer searching for anything that could pass for cookies.  I found a few cinnamon rolls – enough to cut into small pieces, cookie size.  Thank goodness for a microwave to thaw and heat them.

I use my mother’s hot chocolate recipe.  Sugar and Hershey’s Cocoa, mixed with a little water and boiled for two minutes.  Add milk and heat slowly.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  The best hot chocolate ever – topped with marshmallows.

Five-year-old Lou was first in the house and rushed to the kitchen.  She pulled apart the stuck-together marshmallows and taste tested one of each color to be sure they were okay to eat.  We loaded trays with snowman plates and cups, a pot of hot chocolate, and cinnamon- roll cookies and carried them to our basement playroom.  Lou’s parents and siblings sat on a plastic picnic tablecloth spread on the floor.

As my four Grands gobbled bites of cinnamon rolls and drank hot chocolate, cooled with crushed ice and topped with squashed marshmallows, they talked.

             Did you see me go fast down the hill?

             Daddy sledded down the hill with me.

             Did anyone else see Elaine (20 months old) when she fell?  She couldn’t get up with all those clothes on.

            I got Daddy good with a snowball – did you see me?  

            Momma, why didn’t you ride on a sled?

            Do you think we’ll have another snow?

All winter long, I’ve wished for a big snow, four inches deep or so, but unless we have a fluke blizzard like the one in March twenty years ago, it probably won’t happen.  For my Grands, the Sunday morning snow was enough.  Enough to make happy memories – sledding and playing and drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies.



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